Biodiversity, climate change and environmental protection are causes close to your heart? You would like to contribute to conservation efforts but don't know how?
Well we have just the right thing for you!
As soon as our citizen science platform is up and running, we will be actively recruiting members of the public to contribute to climate protection and research. No experience or travel necessary! To find out more, read about our projects here.
Phenology and Climate Change
You enjoy spending time outdoors and would like to actively contribute to climate change research?
Then you have come to the right place! Soon you will be able to virtually capture your observations using a suitable companion for your smartphone. Call yourself a scientist in just a few clicks!
Altitudinal Limits of Trees
You are a passionate hiker and climb mountains in your free time? You want to know what this pastime has to do with environmental protection, climate change and species conservation? Then our project is the perfect fit for you.
Changes in Pollen Loads
Animals in the City
You are living in a city or outside and you get enthusiastic about animals? Then we need your help! In order for us to learn more about the changes in the occurrences and behavior of animals living in cities, we are developing an App to help us track animal observations made by citizens around Bavaria.
Phenology as an Indicator of Climate Change
In subproject 4, plant phenology is used to better detect and communicate the consequences of climate change, to use it for (school) education, and to make predictions about future change under fluctuating environmental conditions.
Its simple methodology allows for a smooth integration in the school curriculum. By means of phenological experiments, students will have the opportunity to work as 'junior scientists' and directly simulate the effects of climate change on plant life. The BAYSICS toolkit will provide all relevant infrastructure required to participate in the program, including tools for data collection and evaluation of results.
In collaborating with relevant BAYSICS subprojects, results of these phenological experiments will then flow into climate reports developed by schools for their own region.
Ultimately, BAYSICS citizen science observation and experimentation data will help to close existing information gaps about (climatically induced) driving factors of change, and bring to light their effects on associated ecosystem services.
Climate Related Changes in Pollen Loads
This subproject considers the citizen science approach to evaluate climate-induced variations in pollen load. Amongst others, it aims to evaluate the appropriateness of urban greenspaces and city districts to reduce pollen exposure.
The results of allergenicity evaluation in cities will help to make smart decisions on future establishment or redesign of green spaces. Promoting and upholding green spaces in cities is important; humans largely benefit from ecosystem services such as recreation, climate regulation and improved air quality. Any disservice provided by pollen emission should therefore be reduced.
In order to adapt to climate change, detailed knowledge about the spatial variability of phenology, pollen season and pollen intensity is required.
Since cities are known for their urban heat island effect, dry conditions and air pollution, investigations along urbanisation gradients (space-for-time approach) can be used to assess the influence of temperature on pollen production. As temperature is expected to increase due to climate change, this approach can be used as a proxy to predict future effects of climate on allergenic plants.
This subproject thus aims to use the citizen science approach to evaluate climate-induced variations in pollen production, pollen exposure, diurnal emission patterns of allergenic plants as well as individual symptoms. In addition to the installation of pollen traps and meteorological stations in a large city (Ingolstadt), the focus of this subproject is to develop an App that can be used by citizens to report on allergy symptoms or allergenic plant observations from the comfort of their own homes.
Prof. Dr. Susanne Jochner-Oette
Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Physical Geography/Landscape Ecology and Sustainable Ecosystem Development
Phone: +49 8421 9321742
Ostenstraße 18, 85072 Eichstätt
Detection of Altitudinal Limits of Tree Species
Mountain forests of the Bavarian Alps are subject to above-average climate warming. Since forest and tree lines in the mountains are temperature-dependant, it seems likely that mountain forest species will begin to thrive at increasingly higher elevations.
Are upper limits of beech, fir, spruce et al. moving upwards? Due to insufficient monitoring schemes, science cannot currently answer this seemingly simple question. On the other hand, tens of thousands of hikers frequent the summits, walk the treeline and increasingly use smartphones for navigation, mapping and photography.
This subproject aims to make hikers aware of connections between mountain forests and climate change, trains them to identify common tree species, and offers to share their observations with a large community in the BAYSICS app.
Results can then be visualized and compared to historical data from the mid-19th century (the end of the Small Ice Age, known for its almost 2° colder temperatures).
The project is also promoted through the media of the German Alpine Association and the Bavarian State Forestry. The app is still under development, but if you want to explore tree species now, you can download the form here and participate directly.
- In the context of an excursion the subproject was accompanied by Mr. Georg Bayerle of the Bayerischer Rundfunk in the Alps. Here students did their first Citizen Science work and searched for the highest growing specimens. The report was broadcast on 26.06.2019 on Bayerischer Rundfunk and is now also available in the mediathek. In addition, an article on the topic was written for BR24.
- In the Alpinwelt issue 02/2019 the article "How does the mountain forest react to climate change?" was published. The article is available for download now.
Animals in the City: Environmental Justice in Times of Climate Change
Biodiversity loss and climate change-related changes to animal distribution and behaviour are normally considered as expert knowledge. This is particularly true for people living in cities, most of whom have little daily contact to nature.
For city dwellers, urban greenspaces are the main place to experience nature and animals in the wild, yet those spaces are under pressure as cities grow in size and density.
Modifying older buildings in hopes of adapting to climate change (e.g. through insulation), often leads to a further loss of breeding opportunities for birds, bats and other animals.
Methods such as “Animal-Aided Design” (Weisser & Hauck 2017) thus aim to integrate animals into the planning of urban greenspaces, thereby improving the human experience of nature in cities. However, encouraging environmental protection in this way heavily relies on the active participation of citizens.
This subproject therefore aims to actively involve citizens in the collection of data on animals inside and outside cities, in hopes of further understanding how climate change and urbanisation affect animal distribution and behaviour. In addition, it aims to explore human preferences for particular animals and the factors that influence whether humans like to have wild animals in their vicinity.
The results of the project will increase our understanding of how city dwellers perceive animals and how their awareness about nature can be raised.
Results will be used to inform future urban planning projects and to help them design cities and greenspaces that respect to both humans and animals.