EAS 510: Terrestrial Ecosystems

Understanding global climate change and its drivers requires a solid background in terrestrial ecosystems and their main characteristics. This includes in particular trace-gas and energy exchange processes between the terrestrial biosphere, the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.

Climate change will potentially lead to trace gas fluxes initiating positive feedbacks (e.g., from permafrost and tundra soil). Since describing the entire terrestrial ecosystem would be beyond the scope of this seminar, we will focus on climate-sensitive elements of terrestrial ecosystems, their fate under climate change and their possible feedbacks influencing the pace and magnitude of such changes. Emphasis is given to an introduction into numerical models aimed to quantify these processes.


  • Introduction to the biosphere and its major components
  • Climate change and the global terrestrial biosphere: feedbacks, interactions and impacts
  • Exchange processes between the biosphere and other elements of the global system and their assessments
  • Observations and numerical modeling of major processes in the terrestrial biosphere
  • Introduction to dynamical ecosystem modeling