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Habit-Change - Adaptive Management of Climate-induced Changes of Habitat Diversity in Protected Areas (EU)

Habit-Change - Adaptive Management of Climate-induced Changes of Habitat Diversity in Protected Areas
Interreg IV B Central Europe Programme
Lead: Leibnitz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung

Participitation of 17 European Project Partners (www.habit-change.eu)
3/1/2010 - 2/28/2013
Research Associate:
Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Schmidt
Project Lead:
Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit
Dr. Michael Förster


Climate change will become an additional important driver influencing habitats and their quality in the next decades. Thus, the European network of protected sites is challenged by anthropogenic actions and climate change (CC). Nature conservation agencies have to cope with modifications of habitat composition induced by CC and the fact that the targeted conservation may no longer be valid. Scenarios and indicators applied for the local scale are missing and likewise there is a lack of knowledge. The direction of future changes and how this matches with a long-term impact of management measures are unclear. At site-level, precipitation might de- or increase and shift its seasonality, leading to different preconditions for the remaining natural habitats, especially water-based ecosystems such as wetlands and rivers but also the composition of forested areas and grasslands. The main challenges are to monitor changes through time (history, present state, short term future, long term future) and to adapt management strategies and to consider flexible responses to ongoing developments.

The project's overall objective is to evaluate, enhance and adapt existing management and conservation strategies in protected sites to pro-actively respond on likely influences of CC as a threat to habitat integrity and diversity. Furthermore, a monitoring concept is being developed to detect changes caused either by human activity or climate change effects. This will be a very valuable information and tool especially for the administrations of nature protected areas 

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