EAS 510: Terrestrial Ecosystems


Course Title

Terrestrial Ecosystems

Course Code

EAS 510

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Adriana Bruggeman



Lectures / week

1 (2.5 hr)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

Understanding the environment and global climate change with 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) that are still poorly assessed or understood. Describing the entire terrestrial ecosystems and major biological, chemical and physical processes controlling them is beyond the scope of this course. Instead, we will focus on specialized climate-sensitive elements of terrestrial ecosystems, providing detailed insights into the fate under climate change and their possible feedbacks influencing their pace and magnitude. Emphasis will be given to advanced numerical models aiming to quantify these processes.

Learning Outcomes

Understanding of the components of the biosphere and the interactions between the biosphere and the global climate system

Capacity to apply equations to analyse processes in the terrestrial biosphere

Understanding of ecosystems models



Other Requirements


Course Content

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

Teaching Methodology

Lectures. Seminars. Case studies. Short Projects.


Bonan, G. Climate Change and Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling, 2019, Cambridge University Press

Recent journal articles


Analytical exercises and class discussion, exam.