Images of Science

Images of Science

Join us for an audio-visual journey into our research.

The pictures on this page give an insight into the scientific research at our institute. Each image is accompanied by a short podcast in which you can learn more about the background of the research projects in under 5 minutes.

Rising high for the climate

Our 325m high ATTO measurement tower is located in the remote Amazon rainforest. The station is a unique platform to study the interactions between rainforest, atmosphere and climate.  Huge amounts of energy, carbon and water circulate here, strongly influencing the regional but also global climate.

Climate-induced tree mortality

Trees are weakened by climate extremes and are then easy victims for insect pests such as the bark beetle. We investigate how vital functions (photosynthesis) are disrupted by drought or heat and how the weakened trees survive with fewer resources.

A rainforest under glass

Tropical forests store large amounts of carbon and at the same time regulate the water cycle. We investigate how rainforest ecosystems respond to prolonged periods of drought. In the Arizona desert, we are experimenting with a rainforest biome under controlled environmental conditions.

Carbon turnover in ecosystems of the earth

Carbon is constantly circulating through different parts of our Earth, and this - through greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane - affects our global climate. We analyze how fast carbon passes through different ecosystems.

Tracking down carbon

By burning plant samples, sediments or soils, we can measure the chemical elements they contain, in gaseous form, such as carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Their ratios tell us something about the storage capacity of carbon in soils under different land uses.

Thaw instead of arctic cold

In the Arctic, we study the stability of permafrost ecosystems, a mosaic of sub-areas that is constantly changing - depending on the climate. In the northern hemisphere, about half of the world's soil carbon is stored stably by permafrost.

So close to the atmosphere

With 40 ICOS measuring stations distributed all over Europe, greenhouse gases of different ecosystems and also of the oceans are permanently recorded. With highly precise and standardized measurements, we support the prediction of future climate developments and thus also provide information for political decision-makers.

Trees and grasses in unique ecosystems

There are many regions around the world where trees and grasses predominate. This is also the case in central Spain, where we are conducting fertilization experiments in the grazed holm oak groves. We want to find out how land use and fertilization affect ecosystems and the climate.

Artificial intelligence out of your pocket

Climate change is altering biodiversity, and species extinction is threatening ecosystems and thus our livelihoods. To better monitor biodiversity, we have developed the Flora Incognita app for reliably identifying plants at their location.

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