Effects of Historical Climate and Land-use Events on Contemporary Biodiversity Change

Navn på bevillingshaver

Lars Lønsmann Iversen


DKK 425,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


The aim of this project is to create the first global assessment of the legacy of past climate and human land uses (disequilibrium) on contemporary biodiversity patterns.


Human driven biodiversity loss causes global species and population extirpations. Climate change and land use are regarded as the main drivers for the current biodiversity crisis. This knowledge is based on the assumption that biodiversity reacts directly to these changes, ignoring the effect of historical climate and land use events (disequilibrium states). Even though the importance of including disequilibrium states in global change studies are often emphasised, no attempts have been made to date to estimate the distribution and magnitude of these processes across ecosystems and organisms. Ultimately not considering disequilibrium states could lead to incorrect estimates and inference of the factors leading to ongoing changes in biodiversity.


The project will be carried out by specifically addressing two objectives: 1) To quantify and understand climatic disequilibrium in biodiversity across contemporary geographic regions, producing the first global map of climatic disequilibrium in terrestrial biodiversity. 2) To improve knowledge of how disequilibrium processes drive biodiversity responses to current climate and land use change, by quantifying how much of the observed change in species communities across Europe can be explained by disequilibrium states alone.

Tilbage til oversigtssiden