What forest plant species feel

Anthropogenic activities have led to a worldwide decline in biodiversity. Besides the loss of natural habitats and the spread of invasive alien species, climate change has been identified as one of the most important human-induced global drivers of this biodiversity crisis. To quantify and visualize the effects of climate change on biodiversity, species distribution models (SDMs) are a commonly used technique. However, these models use macroclimatic predictors which ignore many climate-forcing processes that operate near the ground surface, at fine spatio-temporal scale (i.e. the microclimate). Yet, these impact the habitat conditions for plant species significantly. Therefore, the overall goal of this PhD project is to develop a microclimate map for Europe in order to evaluate the potential of microclimates to mitigate species loss and extinctions induced by climate change.

Researcher: Stef Haesen

Koenraad Van Meerbeek
Koenraad Van Meerbeek
Assistant professor