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Mediterranean Ecosystems Science School 2018

In the winter 2018 semester break, five Global Change Ecology M.Sc Students took part in a Mediterranean Ecosystems Science School through the University of Bayreuth department of Plant Ecology in which we explored plant functional trait responses to water availability in Andalucía, Spain.

Foto: Elisabeth Erber

Mediterranean ecosystems, including that of southern Spain, harbor biodiversity hotspots that are threatened by climate change. Thus, understanding plant responses to climatic changes, such as drought, is crucial to land management. Four different plant communities at three different protected areas with differing levels of water availability were sampled. Community composition and functional traits were measured at each site in daytime excursions, and data was processed in the evenings. After the Science School, participating students test and report their experimental outcomes regarding how plant functional groups may respond according to water availability.

Overall, the participants recommend this Science School. The workload was very manageable, the scenery was beautiful and the group size was good.

Text: Cara Meyer

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