The terrestrial biosphere forms the interface between the atmosphere and much of the Earth’s land surface; it mediates the carbon, nitrogen and hydrological cycles, and profoundly influences the surface energy balance. Thus, the biosphere exerts a substantial control on both local and global climate, particularly through its sequestration of anthropogenic carbon emissions. It also performs a wide range of other services such as the provision of food and raw materials, removal of air pollutants and suppression of pests and diseases. However, the composition and performance
of the biosphere is greatly influenced by human-induced alteration of the climate and atmospheric composition, whilst anthropogenic land-use change has completely transformed ecosystems and their interactions with the surrounding Earth system.
The talks aim to give a broad overview of the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the Earth system, with a strong focus on anthropogenic land-use change and management, and their implications. They were recorded during the PhD training school “Putting People on the Land: Introducing the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems climate and society”, held at KIT/IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, on 3rd-6th March 2015. (picture: Andreas Gast, KIT/IMK-IFU)