Joint project LandKlif

Study design


The joint project LandKlif is funded by the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. It is funded by the Bavarian Climate Research Network (bayklif). It has started on May 2018 and will last till May 2023.

Interactive effects of climate and land use

LandKlif investigates the biodiversity and multi-functionality of semi-natural, agricultural and urban landscapes in different climate zones of Bavaria. We aim to understand (1) how climate and land use determine species richness, community composition and ecosystem services, (2) the contribution of diversity at population-, species – and landscape levels to resilience of ecosystems against climate change and (3) which management options at local, landscape and regional scales contribute to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the context of climate change.

180 study sites

In the LandKlif network, a total of 60 representative semi-natural, agricultural and urban regions are chosen, which cover the temperature, precipitation and elevation gradients in Bavaria from dry-warm regions in lower Franconia to the highlands of the Bavarian Forest and Berchtesgaden National Park. In each of 5 climatic zones, 3 landscape types with four replicates have been selected, which represent a gradient of increasing anthropogenic habitat modification. Within each region, three dominant habitat types are investigated, resulting in a total of 180 study sites.

10 subprojects + coordination

The ten subprojects (SPs) address complementary tasks for the study of land use, climate, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. The derivation of regional, landscape-based management strategies for climate protection, nature conservation and preservation of ecosystem services will improve the ecological, economic and social resilience of Bavaria to climate change. The coordination project ensures communication, data management and joint analyses.

Project Overview


  1. Subproject 1 (Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter) - Climate change in a landscape context: functional biodiversity, biotic ecosystem services and data synthesis. Read More
  2. Subproject 2 (Prof. Dr. Jörg Müller) - Impacts of climate change on functional diversity, prioritization of conservation areas and decomposer communities. Read More
  3. Subproject 3 (Prof. Dr. Jörg Ewald) - Vegetation of Bavaria’s normal landscape between global warming and hemeroby. Read More
  4. Subproject 4 (Prof. Dr. Johannes Kollmann) - Restoration of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services to improve climatic resilience and invasion resistance. Read More
  5. Subproject 5 (Prof. Dr. Annette Menzel) - Impact of climate change on plant phenology and hoofed game - The role of temporal synchronization and cross-scale landscape variability. Read More
  6. Subproject 6 (Prof. Dr. Thomas Hovestadt) - Modeling Adjustment to new climatic conditions in a landscape context: Identifying risk zones and management options. Read More
  7. Subproject 7 (PD Dr. habil. Christopher Conrad) - Mapping of land use and ecosystem services using remote sensing. Read More
  8. Subproject 8 (Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann ) - Climate and water cycle analysis for Bavaria using extremely high-resolution regional earth system modeling. Read More
  9. Subproject 9 (Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner) - Modeling and assessment of ecosystem services facing climate change. Read More
  10. Subproject 10 (Prof. Dr. Christoph Moning) - Strategies for adaptation to climate change in landscape management, landscape and spatial planning. Read More
  11. Subproject 11 (Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter) - Coordination project.
    Read More

Subproject 1: Climate change in a landscape context: functional biodiversity, biotic ecosystem services and data synthesis

Climate change and the increased occurrence of extreme climatic events, together with land use changes, are considered as the main causes for the decline of insects. As pollinators and antagonist of herbivorous insects, they ensure essential ecological services. In nature conservation, insects are an important target group due to their high biodiversity and diverse life history traits. However, there is currently a lack of basic knowledge about the effects of climate change in Bavaria on the distribution, biodiversity and biotic interactions of insects and how intensive land use may reinforce them.

Subproject 1 covers the biodiversity of bees, wasps, hoverflies and beetles as well as the ecosystem services of pollination and biological pest control in the joined experimental design of the LandKlif network in near-natural, agricultural and urban habitats. In addition, dislocation experiments and simulations of extreme climatic events are carried out in order to better understand the adaption potential or the resilience of functionally important insect groups. The results deliver the basis for a more sustainable management of Bavaria ecosystems and thus make an important contribution to the preservation of insect diversity and its ecological services in the context of climate change.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
University of Würzburg
Biocenter - Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Tel: +49 931 31-84352

Subproject 2: Impacts of climate change on functional diversity, prioritization of conservation areas and decomposer communities

This subprojet focuses on biomass, taxonomic and functional diversity of arthropods across Bavaria based on the Library Barcoding Fauna Bavarica. This will be complemented by detailed investigations on decomposer communities of wood, dung and carcasses. These data will first time open the avenue for modelling functional arthropod diversity, as well as invasive and threatened species in a spatially explicit model with predictors from land-use and climate. Disentangling land use and climate allows further to forecast changes in climate and land use strategies in Bavaria. In specific, the subproject will focus in details on the decomposer and their ecosystem functions under different climate and land use conditions. Adding field and lab experiments will help to quantify the contribution of this guild under future climate conditions. The results will provide the baseline for improved strategies not only in land use management but also in conservation strategies in urban, agricultural and forest dominated landscapes.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Jörg Müller
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
University of Würzburg
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Tel: +49 931 31 83378

Subproject 3: Vegetation of Bavaria’s normal landscape between global warming and hemeroby

Despite undeniable success in preserving and managing high nature value habitats in relatively small protected areas sectoral nature conservation has been unable to halt biodiversity loss in Bavaria’s landscapes. Not least under climate change normal forests, forest edges, hedges, grasslands, field margins and green spaces in cities are required as corridors and buffer zones for ecosystem services. In the framework of the Landklif design our project examines the vegetation of these less studied ecosystems with respect to their susceptibility against warming, land-use and urbanization as well as to their potential as spaces of refuge, exchange and connectivity for wild plants and their dependent communities. Based on these findings we derive recommendations for optimizing the green infrastructure by managing forest, landscape and green space as well as agro-environmental schemes.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Jörg Ewald
Botany, vegetation science
University of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf
Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 3
85354 Freising
Tel: +49 8161 715909

Subproject 4: Restoration of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services to improve climatic resilience and invasion resistance

Urban green infrastructure is significant for mitigation of climate change in cities as vegetation reduces temperatures and increases humidity. Further ecosystem services include stormwater retention, reduced erosion, carbon sequestration, maintenance of nutrient cycles and increased biodiversity. Moreover, urban vegetation is crucial for human recreation. Green infrastructure is challenged by extreme weather, invasive alien species and economic constraints of management.

Ecological aspects are not suffiently covered by current planning of green infrastructure. Therefore, the aim of subproject 4 is to study the effects of natural and designed plant communities on ecosystem functions under different climatic scenarios and in interaction with invasive alien plants. The experimental plant communities are recruited from the native species pool. The response variables will be investigated along a climatic gradient in 20 urban landscapes in Bavaria, as well as in common garden and climate chamber experiments under different temperature and soil moisture regimes with and without invasive alien species.

The results of the project contribute to an improved knowledge and more effective application of ecological theory on grassland resilience and invasion resistance in urban green infrastructure. The economic benefits are reduced costs for maintenance of urban vegetation and improved adaptation of Bavarian cities to climate change.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Johannes Kollmann
Technical University of Munich
School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
Emil-Ramann-Str. 6
85354 Freising-Weihenstephan
Tel: +49 8161 714144

Subproject 5: Impact of climate change on plant phenology and hoofed game - The role of temporal synchronization and cross-scale landscape variability

Climate change affects our ecosystems, indicated for example by temporal shifts in phenological events in flora and fauna. Such changes can severely affect fitness, species dispersal and productivity of ecosystems, especially if the previous timing of life-history patterns is lost. The onset of phenological events and their rates of change, however, will vary within individuals, populations, between provenances and species, and in the landscape. We therefore hypothesize that this inherent diversity in timing can buffer negative impacts of climate change, such as extreme events or phenological mismatch (mis-synchronization). This buffer can be purposefully promoted through targeted management and landscape planning.

While changes on the individual tree level have been described relatively well, there is a lack of integration at the landscape level to assess the resulting climate impact on wildlife, such as changes in the timing of mutualistic relationships or changes in seasonal food supply. Accordingly, our study aims to 1) track phenological changes across landscapes and scales using a variety of image capturing methods, 2) assess the variability of onset dates, and 3) examine the effects of change on synchrony-driven ecosystem processes and services, such as late spring frost hazards.
Furthermore, the population dynamics and status of roe deer and wild boar are recorded and driving factors, such as weather or climate change, warming-related phenological change and land use, are identified in order to derive concrete measures for practical wildlife management.

For the first time, research on the adaptation to climate change is systematically mapping phenological changes to derive consequences on flora and fauna from small (individual) to large (landscape) scales.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Annette Menzel
Professorship for Ecoclimatology
Technical University of Munich
Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2
85354 Freising
Tel: +49 8161 714740

Cooperation partner:
Dr. Wibke Peters
Abteilung Biodiversität, Naturschutz, Jagd
Bayerische Landesanstalt für Wald und Forstwirtschaft
Tel: +49 8161 714899

Subproject 6: Modeling Adjustment to new climatic conditions in a landscape context: Identifying risk zones and management options.

Adjustment (adaptation) of species and communities to new climatic conditions and thus maintenance of ecosystem services will depend on three critical components: (i) the ability of species viz. individuals to tolerate changing climatic conditions and extreme events, (ii) genetic diversity within (meta)populations allowing _adaptation_ to new conditions, and (iii) establishment of new species better adapted to the new conditions. From a scientific as well as a applied perspective it is important to foresee how well adjustment will work at different locations and which management options might help to mitigate negative effects of climate change for certain ecosystem services like pollination, or production of biomass.

By use of spatially explicit computer simulations we want (i) to investigate the particular role of the landscape context for local and regional adjustment, (ii) characterize landscape elements that may either be critical for promoting community adjustment (e.g. warm urban environments) or that are particularly vulnerable to climate change (e.g. large-scale homogeneous landscapes), and (iii) identify management options that may help to promote adaptation to new climatic conditions and thus mitigate negative effects on ecosystem services.

Principal investigator:
PD Dr. Thomas Hovestadt
Theoretical Evolutionary Ecology Group
University of Würzburg
Emil-Fischer-Str. 32
97074 Würzburg
Tel: +49 931 3183083

Subproject 7: Mapping of land use and ecosystem services using remote sensing

Remote Sensing is a technology for observing of our landscapes from airplanes and from space. This tool allows us to monitor different land cover and land use classes such as forests, grassland, cropland or settlements in space and over time. The data also comprise information about vegetation and phenology, e.g. the green-up dates, and hence about the status of ecosystems in the landscape.

This sub-project in the LandKlif project network aims to generate highly accurate series of measurements from various satellite data in order to receive information about the vegetation development of the last two decades in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes of Bavaria. Comparisons of extreme situations with the climatic normal state are intended to detect which parts of the landscape are vulnerable or resistant to the expected climatic changes.

Another focus of the subproject is agricultural landscapes, in particular the determination of cropping patterns, yield levels, and landscape diversity. In cooperation with the LandKlif project partners the results will serve for the detection of harmful influences on the ecosystem services, such as the provision of fertile soils or the securing of pollination and thus agricultural production and to develop countermeasures on a site level.

Principal investigator:
PD Dr. habil. Christopher Conrad
Institute of Geography and Geology
University of Würzburg
Oswald-Külpe-Weg 86
97074 Würzburg
Tel: +49 931 31 88493

Subproject 8: Climate and water cycle analysis for Bavaria using extremely high-resolution regional earth system modeling

The regional water cycle is mainly determined by vegetation, soil, terrain and the driving atmospheric circulation. Both its short-term and climate-related long-term changes can only be understood with the aid of complex numerical simulations, which take into account in particular small-scale structures. Such a spatially extremely high-resolution simulation is in the focus of subproject 8. Three carefully interconnected computer models for the atmosphere, the land surface and the soil are being developed, combined into a single regional earth system model and operated in very high spatial resolution. This allows us to dynamically regionalise global climate scenarios by simulating all hydrologically relevant processes on a time- and space scale adapted to the target region of Bavaria.

Through the high-resolution regionalization 1) of a long-term global simulation of the past (serving for validation), and 2) a global climate scenario simulation (describing the expected climate change in the future), for the region of Bavaria a unique data set is developed for climate- and hydrological research and the delineation of adaption measures. This forms a central basis for ecosystem-related climate change impact research in the collaborative project.

Principal investigator
Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann
Professorship for Regional Climate and Hydrology
Institute of Geography
University of Augsburg
Alter Postweg 118
86135 Augsburg

and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Campus Alpine
Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research
82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Tel: +49 8821 183208

Subproject 9: Modeling and assessment of ecosystem services facing climate change

Climate change has significant impact on the functionality of ecosystems and thus also on their services, which benefit both the economy and the society of Bavaria. The objective of TP9 is to model the effects of climate change under given land use changes on relevant ecosystem services (plant production, erosion regulation, flood protection, carbon storage) for the whole of Bavaria and for the landscape sections selected in the project. Since we use the integrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), it is possible to assess the effects of climate change on multiple ecosystem services in scenarios. Considering also ecosystem services (pollination, pest control, regional climate regulation, habitat provisioning, recreational function, etc.) examined by other TPs, we will also assess how citizens and selected occupational groups evaluate ecosystem impacts of climate change. The results of the project will be presented geographically in a Bavarian atlas of ecosystem services in terms of hotspots and coldspots of individual ecosystem services, synergies and conflicts of multiple ecosystem services, as well as their evaluation.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner
Professorship of Ecological Services
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30
95447 Bayreuth
Tel: +49 921 55 2373

Subproject 10: Strategies for adaptation to climate change in landscape management, landscape and spatial planning

Climate change has a significant impact on functions of landscape as a whole, especially on state and management of valuable species and habitats as well as ecosystem services. This subproject examines how planning instruments can contribute to the adaptation of biotope networks and green infrastructure to climate change regarding different levels of land use intensity.

The results compiled in subprojects 2-10 will be checked for feasibility in the field of landscape planning. In this process, existing instruments of landscape and spatial planning, rural development, agro-environmental measures, ecological compensation, and conservation management will be investigated with respect to their possible contributions to climate change adaptation.

Considering different climate conditions, intensities of land use as well as urbanization levels, guiding recommendations will be developed for the improvement, and extension of the planning instruments.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Moning
Chair of Zoology, Animal Ecology
Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf
Weihenstephaner Berg 5
85354 Freising
Tel: +49 8161 712220

Subproject 11: Coordination project

Der Verbund LandKlif verbindet sozial-ökologische Ansätze, um innerhalb eines gemeinsamen Versuchsdesigns die Folgen des Klimawandels für Biodiversität, Ökosystemleistungen und Resilienz zu untersuchen und zu modellieren. Dies geschieht in unterschiedlichen Landschaftsräumen in Bayern (naturnah, agrarisch, urban) und auf verschiedenen räumlichen Ebenen. Das Koordinationsprojekt ist hierbei der Knotenpunkt, an dem die einzelnen komplementären Teilprojekte zusammenlaufen. Es übernimmt die Koordination, Organisation und Verwaltung des Gesamtprojektes, und gewährleistet die erfolgreiche Implementierung des gemeinsamen Versuchsdesigns. Gleichzeitig werden hier die in LandKlif aufgenommenen Daten zu Artenvielfalt, Ökosystemleistungen, Landnutzung, Klimaprognosen und Anpassungsstrategien zentral dokumentiert, archiviert und fachübergreifend ausgewertet. Die langfristige Archivierung in Datenbanken ist eine entscheidende Voraussetzung für Landzeitstudien und die Nutzung von Synergien in Forschungsverbünden, erleichtert aber auch den Wissenstransfer in Gesellschaft und Politik. Wissenstransfer ist entscheidend, um die Anpassung an den Klimawandel auf allen Ebenen voranzutreiben. Somit besteht ein großer Teil des Projektes darin, wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse und konkrete Handlungsoptionen an diverse Interessensgruppen weiterzugeben. Dies geschieht unter anderem durch Workshops, Vorträge und Veröffentlichungen in wissenschaftlichen und angewandten Zeitschriften. Durch die Etablierung eines raumbezogenen, webbasierten Beratungsportals werden Klimarisiken und Anpassungsstrategien anschaulich dargestellt und nutzbar gemacht, zum Beispiel für Naturschutz, Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Stadt- und Raumplanung.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
University of Würzburg
Biocenter - Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Tel: +49 931 31-86947

Study design

Our study design aims to disentangle effects of climatic conditions, regional gradients in anthropogenic habitat modification, landscape composition and configuration, and local habitat characteristics.

For site selection we first selected quadrants based on climate and land use gradients.

Final 60 quadrants

Final quadrants
  • Logos
  • LandKlif is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts within the Bavarian Climate Research Network (bayklif).

Administration Office

University of Würzburg
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology
Biocenter - Am Hubland

97074 Würzburg, Germany


Phone: 0931 3184 350
Fax: 0931 3184 3500
Developed by:
Jie Zhang


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