Virtual Midterm Conference 4th-7th October 2021
The Midterm Conference has been presented and moderated by young scientist of the projects. Lifely discussions and valuable exchanges on methods and preminliary results between the researchers of the different projects took place. Two projects had already been successful in identifying tipping points.
Prof. Dr. Marten Scheffer (WUR) introduced the topic by an inspiring KeyNote.
Release of M-Tool: A new tool to map mental models - BioTip
A new tool, called M-Tool, has been developed by researchers at Heidelberg University and Tanzanian Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) as part of the MultiTip project. M-Tool allows users to capture people’s perceptions of complex systems (or mental models) online or with mobile devices and can be tailored to map perceptions of any system, process or phenomenon consisting of factors and causal links between them. For example, one can draw the processes that cause climate change, influence the fluctuation of a resource such as fish stock, or map the functioning of an economy. Respondents create visual diagrams of a particular system by organizing relevant factors and showing how they influence each other by connecting them.
Mobility of wildlife and livestock in the Mongolian steppe
The Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem is considered to be one of the last intact steppe ecosystems in the world and is famous for its nomadic pastoralists as well as migrating wildlife. The vast landscape extends over hundreds of thousands of square kilometers and is dominated by grass with almost no trees. The climate is characterized by extremes as irregular rainfall, harsh winters and frequent fires.
These harsh climatic conditions make the mobility of wildlife and nomadic pastoralists key for the survival and for maintaining biodiversity in this ecosystem.
Fish Community Under Pressure
How does the combination of human and climatic influences affect the North Sea ecosystem?
If the composition of the fish community in the North Sea changes significantly, this can have dramatic consequences – for the marine habitat as well as for humans.
While thinking of the North Sea, its images of wide beaches, wind-blown dunes, holiday fun and beautiful small islands come to everyone’s mind. But the marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, with an area of 570,000 km2, has a significance going far beyond those who live in and from it.
Are Society And Marine Ecosystems Changing Under the Corona Pandemic?
The Humboldt Current System with its upwelling area on the Pacific coast of South America is a highly productive ecosystem and a hotspot of marine biodiversity. An average of around nine million tons of fish and other seafood are caught here every year. The ecosystem is highly complex. In the Pacific Ocean, off almost the entire American coast, the trade winds transport cold, nutrient-rich water from the depths to the surface.
However, if the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru warms up, due to the weakening of the winds, this also affects other regions. This process results in droughts or extreme rainfall, depending on the location, and is known as the El Niño phenomenon, with its global effects. In order to really understand this ecosystem, the human influence through fishing and the consequences of climate change cannot be ignored. But what can be done if anthropogenic drivers change in the middle of the ongoing research?