More about the specialisation
Climate change can have severe impacts on agricultural production and associated food security, but also on natural ecosystems. Global warming and the increased variability in rainfall may also have a negative effect on crop production, water security and ecosystem functioning. However, ecosystems can also be part of the solution by reducing these negative effects of climatic changes.
In this specialisation Ecological and Agro-ecological Systems students analyse plant-soil-water interactions in ecological and agro-ecological systems. This is needed to develop effective strategies for safeguarding basic ecosystem services, sustainable crop production and biodiversity. An important tool to integrate this knowledge on plant-vegetation, soil and water dynamics is modelling. It also makes it possible to assess the measures of adaptation and mitigation.
With this knowledge, students try to find answers for questions like:
- How do ecological and agro-ecological systems contribute to climate change through the emissions of the greenhouse gases CO2, N2O and CH4?
- Which mitigation measures can be used to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions?
- How does climate change affect future water availability and food production?
- How to design adaptation strategies for natural ecosystems?
Students can learn more about the education and research related to this specialisation by visiting the website of the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis, the Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group, the Soil Biology Group, the Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality Group, and the Water Systems and Global Change Group.