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Over the years, the IPCC has given increasing importance to the risk concept, promoting now an almost universal trefoil figure, where risks result from the intersection of three components: hazard, exposure and vulnerability. (Photo: Colorbox).

New PEER Paper: The Yin and the Yang of the paths towards sustainability

Uncareful expansion of the renewable energy production systems risks to counter the goal to protect and restore ecosystems. At the same time increased food production to fulfil the zero hunger SDG may lead to biodiversity loss and water shortages.

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Deforestation in a tropical rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations Photo: Adobe stock / whitcomberd Deforestation in a tropical rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations Photo: Adobe stock / whitcomberd

Deforestation and grassland conversion are the biggest causes of biodiversity loss

The conversion of natural forests and grasslands to intensive agriculture and livestock is the biggest cause of global biodiversity loss. The next biggest drivers are the exploitation of wildlife through fishing, logging, trade and hunting - and then...

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Photo: Adobe.stock.com - Ilham

Natural carbon dioxide reduction implemented faster and with less risk than high-tech approaches

Carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere by natural or technical means. Natural sinks such as peatlands can be restored, and innovative technologies already exist to extract carbon from the air. Researchers from the Helmholtz Climate...

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Sheeps grazing on grassland t the UFZ research station in Bad Lauschstädt, Germany. Photo: André Künzelmann/UFZ The interaction of light, eutrophication and grazing was tested. Photo: André Künzelmann / UFZ

The importance of light for grassland plant diversity

Field experiment shows that competition for light is the key mechanism driving loss of plant diversity under eutrophication and lack of grazing.

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A view through the microscope onto the diverse microalgal community of a freshwater lake, including diatoms, green algae and dinoflagellates/chryosphytes. Photo: Maria Stockenreiter /LMU München A view through the microscope onto the diverse microalgal community of a freshwater lake, including diatoms, green algae and dinoflagellates/chryosphytes. Photo: Maria Stockenreiter /LMU München

Learning to Better Understand the Language of Algae

Communication is everything - and that applies for algae, too. However, their chemical language and its significance in aquatic ecosystems remain largely unknown. A research duo from the UFZ and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) have published a...

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PEER Webinar: How can we quantify biodiversity commitment?

Did you miss the PEER Webinar "Biodiversity Restoration: How can we quantify biodiversity commitment"? No worries, you can still watch it.

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Soil erosion is a serious threat to soil functions leading to land productivity decline and multiple off-site effects. © EU, 2022

Novel assessment shows vulnerability of arable land to soil erosion across Europe

A first-ever assessment at European scale combines the threat of water, wind, tillage and harvesting to reveal the cumulative impact on arable land. It is a basis for developing a comprehensive monitoring system for soil health.

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Bees are often exposed to multiple pesticides in nature. Photo: Uni Halle / Markus Scholz Bees are often exposed to multiple pesticides in nature. Photo: Uni Halle / Markus Scholz

Novel insecticides are bad news for bee health and their guts

Insecticides containing flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor can have devastating effects on honey bee health. The substances damage the insects’ intestinal flora, especially when used in conjunction with a common fungicide, making them more susceptible...

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Test site in Ukulinga / Südafrika Photo: Kevin Kirkman Test site in Ukulinga / Südafrika Photo: Kevin Kirkman

More yield, fewer species: How human nutrient intakes alter grasslands

With high nutrient inputs in grasslands, more plant species get lost over longer periods of time than new ones can establish. In addition, fewer new species settle than under natural nutrient availability.

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The cornflower is one of the losers among the agricultural weeds. Photo: André Künzelmann / UFZ The cornflower is one of the losers among the agricultural weeds. Photo: André Künzelmann / UFZ

Ecological imbalance: How plant diversity in Germany has changed in the past century

Germany’s plant world has seen a greater number of losers than winners over the past one hundred years. While the frequencies and abundances of many species have shrunk, they have significantly increased in others. This has resulted in a very uneven...

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