Drought mitigation through ecosystem restoration: Challenges and opportunities

The focus group “Drought mitigation through ecosystem restoration: Challenges and opportunities” consists of Anna Boyksen Fellow Dr. Anastassia Makarieva (Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute) and her host Prof. Anja Rammig (TUM School of Life Sciences).

Plant transpiration influences atmospheric processes locally, regionally and globally. Natural forest ecosystems have evolved a number of mechanisms to stabilize the terrestrial water cycle. While our understanding of them remains incomplete, the direct anthropogenic destruction and climate change are disrupting these stabilizing feedbacks. Conversely, preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems bear the promise of enhancing the water cycle resilience, including protection from extremes like droughts, floods and violent winds, as well as avoidance of tipping points towards aridity. The focus group will explore theoretical problems of how forest-mediated processes affect atmospheric dynamics, including scaling up individual plant processes to synoptically relevant scales. The research will combine TUM’s technical and scientific excellence with the knowledge of climate-regulating functions of least disturbed forest landscapes, most of which in Eurasia are located within Russian borders. The goal is to present quantitative evidence about the importance of natural forests for water-related aspects of regional and global climate stability. This information is required for informed stewardship towards global environmental resilience. The research will highlight the results obtained by female scientists on the post-Soviet space, whose contributions so far remain underrepresented in the international literature.

Publications by the Focus Group

2021

  • Dewilde, Patrick; von Hauff, Michael; Mainzer, Klaus; Makarieva, Anastassia M.; Wackernagel, Mathis; Wilderer, Peter A.: A Discussion on Basic Notions. In: Strategies for Sustainability of the Earth System. Springer International Publishing, 2021 mehr…
  • Makarieva, Anastassia M.: Natural Ecosystems and Earth’s Habitability: Attempting a Cross-Disciplinary Synthesis. In: Strategies for Sustainability of the Earth System. Springer International Publishing, 2021 mehr…