Climate Vegetation Dynamics

The Climate Vegetation Dynamics Group aims at understanding terrestrial biogeophysical feedback processes in the Earth's climate system. To this end, our research focusses on the questions of how the interaction between atmosphere, vegetation, land, and ocean has developed in the past and how this interaction causes accelerated changes into new climate and ecosystem states. These topics are addressed by considering palaeoclimate change and exploring possible changes in the future. 


Snapshots of simulated global vegetation pattern, so-called biomes, derived from an MPI-ESM model simulation of the last 8000 years (Brovkin et al., 2019) using a biomization tool developed in this group (Dallmeyer et al., 2019). Most striking is the widespread vegetation in the Sahara at 6000 BCE. The "Green Sahara Period" ended between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE, earlier in the north than in the south and earlier in the west than in the east (Dallmeyer et al., 2020). In some regions the expansion of the Sahara occurred rapidly, much faster than the subtle, rather linear change in the forcing of the climate (Claussen et al., 2017).

Group members and research topics

  Topics (visit the personal web pages to learn more)
Martin ClaussenGroup LeaderGlobal climate - vegetation interaction in past and present day climate
Juergen BaderGuest
Holocene climate dynamics
Manuel ChevalierGuest
(Univ. Bonn)
Paleovegetation reconstruction
Roberta D'AgostinoGuest
(Univ. Trento)
Holocene tropical dynamics
Anne DallmeyerScientistPaleo vegetation dynamics
Mateo Duque VillegasPhD candidateThe dynamics of past African Humid Periods
Pinhsin HuPhD candidateTrait-based modeling of plant functional diversity and its interaction with the climate
Leonore JungandreasGuest
(iDIV, Leipzig)
Interaction between deep convection and land surface in Holocene North Africa
Koushikh KarunakarMSc Student
Christian ReickSenior ScientistTheory of the terrestrial carbon cycle
Nora Farina SpechtPhD candidateSaharan mega lakes and wetlands and their interaction with vegetation and climate
Josephine WongPhD candidateLong term interaction between vegetation and soil hydrology
Sylvia HoustonAssistant