E³ Extreme Event Ecology (ERC Starting Grant 282250)

With anthropogenic warming, extreme events have already increased in magnitude and frequency and are likely to continue to do so in the near future. These extreme events play decisive roles for climate change impacts. Natural and managed systems, such as agriculture and forestry, are more strongly affected by extremes than by any change in average conditions.

Instead of single meteorological parameters, E3 concentrates on multi-factorial complex situations, such as drought, and subsequent ecological events, such as pests. Novel methods from finance mathematics and statistics are transferred for application to natural systems in order to assess risks of extremes in past, present and future conditions. Special emphasis is given to deriving critical thresholds and prediction for when they will be crossed. E3 is analysing long-term ecoclimatological data from dendrology, phenology, seed quality and is using both manipulated experiments and simulations to provide information on the effects stemming from multiple stressors and extremes.

Risk adaptation should focus not only on retrospective but also on future new extremes, in other words, new threatening combinations of climatological and ecological parameters. In particular, low probabilities and high risk scenarios have to be taken into account. Adaptation measures can range from breeding and selection of suitable species and varieties to management options, such as sanitation and forest protection. Insurance also needs to adapt to changes in climate and ecology and accurate forecasting becomes more critical in the face of unforeseen extremes and calamities.

E3 is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant agreement no. [282250].

E3 contact person

Prof. Dr. Annette Menzel

E3 researchers

Dr. Christian Zang (Dendroecologist, Module 1 and 2)

Michael Matiu (M.Sc. Mathematics in Bioscience, Module 1)

Hannes Seidel (Dipl. Biologist, Module 3)

Marvin Lüpke (M.Sc. Forest and Wood Science, Module 3)

Prof. Dr. Michael Leuchner (Chair of Ecoclimatology) is supporting E3 Module 3


The work in E3 is divided into four modules

Module 1 METRICS

Module 2 PROXIES