Institute of

Biodiversity

Secretariat

Elke Graffam
Institute of Biodiversity

Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 2502
Fax: +49 531 596 2599
bd@thuenen.de


Biodiversity and climate change

Contact: Dr. Jürgen Bender, Dr. Remy Manderscheid, Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Weigel

Cultivation of maize and several cultivars of sorghum at the experimental field of the Thünen-Institute with free air carbon dioxide enrichment and simulation of summer drought by using rain shelters.
Cultivation of maize and several cultivars of sorghum at the experimental field of the Thünen-Institute with free air carbon dioxide enrichment and simulation of summer drought by using rain shelters. (© Thünen-Institut/BD)

Climate change, i.e. the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature and the change in seasonal precipitation pattern, has far-reaching and partially unknown implications for agriculture. These changes have a substantial influence on food production and quality and thus on food security not only at the national but also at the global level. Moreover, the effect of climate change on energy plants, which has been initiated by the federal government for reasons of climate protection, has to be considered.  The diversity of crops and wild plant species is a valuable tool for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. In our research area biodiversity and climate change we simulate future climatic conditions (changes of CO2 concentration, rainfall and temperature) in chamber experiments and in elaborate field studies and we investigate the processes contributing to changes in yield and yield quality of our crops. Results are provided to plant breeders to adapt the cultivars to future growth conditions and the experimental data are made available to crop modelers for example for the preparation of forecasts of global food security.