Terrestrial ecosystem processes within Earth system models

The course aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to understand and utilize terrestrial biosphere models used for future climate projections.


It starts with an introduction into main biological and biophysical processes: photosynthesis, land surface hydrology and biophysics, carbon cycle, and plant ecology. The main focus is given on current state-of-the-art in modeling of these processes within Earth System models. The chosen format of 2-hours lectures and 1-hour seminar supports better understanding of the theoretical details by doing practical exercises. Examples of topics include modeling of landuse effects on terrestrial ecosystem and biogeochemistry; modeling of vegetation dynamics under changed climate; assessment of feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and climate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Biogeophysical and biogeochemical effects of land cover and landuse change are analyzed for future climate as well for several chosen paleo climates.



Basic knowledge of calculus. Practical assignments are done using programming languages such as Fortran or Python or MS Excel spreadsheets.