IMPRS-gBGC core course: Terrestrial Biosphere

This course will focus on processes important in biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as methods used to scale these exchange processes to understand their importance in global biogeochemical cycles.

The emphasis will be on plants since soils are covered in a separate course.

If you are an doctoral researcher with limited background knowledge in biology and ecology, this is the right course for you.

1.  When & where


2.  Registration

Click here to register before April 28, 2015.


3.  Outline

preliminary agenda

L = lecture, D = demonstration, P = practical, E = excursion

Mon, May 11, 2015  Introduction and ecophysiology
 09:00 - 10:30LHierarchical theory and levels of organization of biological systems

- Intro to ecophysiology
- Ecosystem and Biospheric levels of organization

Carlos Sierra
 11:00 - 12:30LPhotosynthesis, respiration and phloem transport, part 1

- Intro
- Why are plants important?
- The currency of life and its economic motor – photosynthesis
(Background and history, light-dependent reactions, ATP, light-independent reactions, adaptations: C3, C4, CAM, Photorespiration)
- Life requires energy – respiration
(substrate-level phosphorylation, oxidative phosphorylation, alternative oxidase)
- Moving energy within the plant
(Phloem transport)

Henrik Hartmann
 13:15 - 15:00LPhotosynthesis, respiration and phloem transport, part 2

see details above

Henrik Hartmann
 15:30 - 17:00D/PMeasuring photosynthesis using Licor 6400

CO2 and light gradients

Henrik Hartmann
Tue, May 12, 2015   
 09:00 - 12:30LWater transport, mineral nutrition and symbiotic interactionsHenrik Hartmann
 13:15 - 17:00D/PMeasuring plant water potential, assessment of stomatal parameters and estimation of GPP/NPP using a closed chamber approachHenrik Hartmann, Christine Römermann
 9:00 - 13:00Efield trip to the Jena Experiment (ca. 2 h on site)

(how to get there: >>, start: Beutenberg Campus, stop: Jena, Zwätzen Brückenstr. or Jena-Zwätzen (Zug))

Meeting point is at the Jena Experiment
Make sure to wear weather-adapted, insensitive clothing.

Tue, May 26, 2015  Plant traits and modeling plant/soil Jens Kattge, Carlos Sierra
 09:00 - 12:00L

- biogeochemical cycles in general & models of BGC cycles
- traits as characteristics of plants (including their relevance for determining soil properties)

 14:00 - 17:00P/Dbuilding a simple biogeochemical model in 3 steps of abstraction (visual representation, mathematical representation, working model)

for this part, please bring a laptop with a current version of R and RStudio installed. You will need the deSolve package for solving differential equations.
The model will be presented in a way that you can follow without knowing R.

Tue, May 27, 2015  Plants in Landscapes & large scale biodiversity / biogeographyShaun Levick, Axel Kleidon
 09:00 - 10:30LPattern and process at landscape scales

- the physical template
- biotic processes
- disturbance
- tools, metrics and models

Shaun Levick
 11:00 - 12:30L

Large scale biodiversity and biogeography
- from plants to biomes and biodiversity
- exchange fluxes of the biosphere
- atmosphere-biosphere interactions
- the global biosphere

Axel Kleidon
 14:00 - 16:00L

Lab exercise - geophysical modelling
(laptops needed)
(>> daisy world spreadsheet)

Axel Kleidon & Shaun Levick
Mon, July 13, 2015  Biodiversity – plants interacting with each other and higher trophic levelsChristiane Roscher, Anne Ebeling, Kristin Bohn
 9:00 - 10:30L

- What is biodiversity?
- Changes and threat on biodiversity
- Consequences of biodiversity loss

 11:00 - 12:30L

- Biodiversity experiments
- Biodiversity and ecosystem processes

 13:15 - 13:45L

- Modelling


4.  Feedback

5 out of 12 participants filled in the survey by July 20, 2015. Thanks a lot for taking time! Your feedback is valuable because it helps the instructors and organizers to improve the individual modules and the general structure of the course.
The survey results are available here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.


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