PRODIGY (EN/ES/PT)

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Soil biodiversity governing tipping points in the Amazon
The crossing of tipping points in ecosystems leads to abrupt and mostly irreversible shifts between alternative system states. Changes in the soil ecosystem have effects on the associated systems, i.e. almost all ecological, but also economic and social systems. Sufficient food production can only be ensured if appropriately used soils are able to provide their full functions. If a tipping point in the soil is exceeded, people may no longer be able to feed on their land. There is thus a danger that changes in the state of economic and social systems will also occur if their resilience is low.

In order to prevent a tipping point in soils from being exceeded, it is first essential to understand soil functions and their resilience to disturbances. To promote this understanding, the PRODIGY project investigates biodiversity-related functions. Our hypothesis is that these functions are permanently guaranteed if many organisms with slightly different functional properties are present and thus prevent the corresponding functions from being endangered by crossing a tipping point. This natural safety net is called functional redundancy.

PRODIGY therefore focuses on biodiversity-driven processes for controlling soil functions. With competent management they can be implemented in ecosystem services (ESS) and are therefore suitable both for the definition of sustainable management options through functional diversity management and for the scientific elucidation of the functioning of core processes in ecosystems and regions characterised by ongoing anthropogenic transformation.

Period: 2019 – 2022
Funded by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

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