Biodiversity and People

Biological diversity is of vital importance to the provision of ecosystem services such as drinking water or food. Biodiversity also has a recreational value for society and offers valuable aesthetic aspects. Making a direct link to human wellbeing, the concept of ecosystem services reflects this wide variety – including economic, ecologic, cultural, and social services. Not only the use of but also the perception and valuation of ecosystem services influences the biological diversity via e.g. cultural ecosystem services. Further, population dynamics like for instance migration and urbanization are influencing biodiversity.

The research unit is working along two different research lines dealing with the interaction of biodiversity and people. Conceptually, we are concerned with the question of how biodiversity and people, both of which are subject to change, are influencing each other. We conceptualize this interface as a social-ecological system based on ecosystem services relating society to nature. The focus is on the change of ecosystem services and the corresponding effects on population dynamics, for example on migration. We also investigate the effects of societal changes on the provision of ecosystem services and forms of perception and valuation of biodiversity.

  • Social-ecological systems
  • Climate change, migration and ecosystem services
  • Urbanization and ecosystem services
  • Climate change, biodiversity and provision

ISOE is a partner in the European biodiversity network Alternet.