Environmental Modelling: Global Ecosystem Modelling

Lecture/Practical/Seminar in SoSe 22  (Geo 415C; Friedolin: 71272)

Lecturers: Sönke Zaehle
Location: MMZ pool
Time: Monday 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
First lecture: Monday, April 11, 2022

More information (schedule, lecture notes, coding examples, seminar topics) on Moodle

Aim of the module

  • Introduction to global ecosystem modeling in the context of global change.
  • Description of essential processes & components: Biogeophysical & biogeochemical processes (vegetation/soil), phenology, vegetation dynamics & biodiversity, anthropogenic land use, and their implementation in global simulation models.
  • Practical simulation of biogeochemical dynamics (setting up a simple model, evaluation, sensitivity tests) & addressing uncertainties (development and simulation of scenarios).

Learning Objectives 

  • Basic understanding of the capabilities and limitations of global ecosystem modeling to predict climate change impacts.
  • Basic insight into dynamic ecosystem model programming, its application and interpretation (using highly simplified examples)
  • Synthesis and presentation of scientific literature

Some prior knowledge of programming with R is an advantage, but appropriate guidance will be provided for independent learning.


  • Successfully completed exercises (written report)
  • Presentation: synthesis, presentation and discussion of a scientific article on current issues in global ecosystem modeling. Suggested topics will be given, own suggestions are welcome.
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