The following symposia will offer novel insights and inspiring discussions with high-level speakers.

S1 Symposium: Nature exposure and human health and wellbeing ▶
Full title: Symposium: Nature exposure and human health and wellbeing
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Rachel Oh, Kevin Rozario, Loïc Gillerot, Aletta Bonn

Contact: rachel.oh@idiv.de

Society is exposed to significant challenges relating to biodiversity loss and human health and wellbeing in a changing climate. Globally, the majority of people live in cities, resulting often in loss of physical contact with nature. A recent rise in chronic and non-communicable diseases such as obesity and poor mental health has also been documented in urban residents. This symposium explores whether and how experiencing nature under these urbanisation and climatic challenges provides relevant health and wellbeing benefits. We hope to gain insights into the casual pathways through which health and wellbeing benefits are delivered, and how knowledge integration of different scientific disciplines may contribute to actionable knowledge to improve both public health and the conservation of biodiversity.
S2 Symposium: Economics of Biodiversity ▶
Full title: Symposium: Accounting for Biodiversity in Economics & Business
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Martin Quaas, Marten Winter

Contact: martin.quaas@idiv.de

Biodiversity losses are considered as one of the largest global economic risks. The world economic forum estimates that more than half of the global GDP is contingent on nature. However, biodiversity is largely ignored in economic accounting, although it has been a declared aim to better mainstream biodiversity at least in national accounting. In recent years, the economic, business and biodiversity research communities have started to develop concepts such as green economy, degrowth, sustainable finance, earth stewardship, or nature-based solutions, but by and large these developments remain largely separated. On the other hand, the ecological driven research of assessing economic values of biodiversity is increasing (e.g. costs of biological invasions, valuation of ecosystem services like pollination). Generally, the biodiversity research community is strongly interested in making sure that the complexity of biodiversity and ecosystem linkages is robustly addressed in finances to support a sustainable use of natural resources. By contrast, the economic research community favors theoretically coherent approaches of accounting for the values of biodiversity, which can be seamlessly linked to existing business and national accounts. Examples for such approaches include the ecosystem accounting framework of UN SEEA and the Dasgupta Review on the economics of biodiversity, which emphasizes the need to include biodiversity in inclusive wealth accounts. In this session we aim to bring together experts in biodiversity economics, biodiversity valuation, socio-economic systems but also ecologists assessing economic variables as part of their studies to learn about biodiversity integration in economic accounting and decision-making, providing a space for exchange to explore further potential for knowledge exchange and collaborations. A focus will be on how the values of biodiversity are reflected in financial assets and insurance markets.
S3 Symposium: The functioning of future ecosystems ▶
Full title: Symposium: The functioning of future ecosystems
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Anja Linstädter, Nico Eisenhauer, Helge Bruelheide, Liana Kindermann, James Ofori, Lisa Schwarz, Alexandra Weigelt, Christian Wirth

Contact: anja.linstaedter@uni-potsdam.de

Studying the future of ecosystems and the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships is a challenging task, as it poses methodological and conceptual obstacles, such as scaling from small to large spatial and temporal scales. This symposium will center around the effects of land-use and climate change on biodiversity, their joint implications for ecosystem functioning and ecosystem service provision (the BEF-BES relationship), and their context-dependency across spatial and temporal scales. The underlying research is at the core of the conflict between anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity and the societal needs – a trade-off that will see increasing contestations under future land-use and climate change scenarios. We plan to invite internationally leading researchers who work on BEF-BES relationships and the resulting ecosystem consequences with particular focus on the landscape-scale implications and applications of BEF relationships across realms. This will form the basis to implement different biodiversity facets in research addressing the consequences of human activities as well as the future of well-functioning ecosystems.
Contributions will study the distribution, drivers, and relationships between different facets of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We invited contributions which introducing novel frameworks on how to assess future ecosystems, especially where complex multi-trophic interactions are considered across spatial and temporal scales. These contributions will take interdisciplinary approaches that help to provide insights into future ecosystems and the natural and anthropogenic drivers. We will specifically consider large-scale implications of BEF and interactions across ecosystem boundaries. The goal is to develop a forward-looking perspective in functional BEF research by synthesizing key insights of recent work, but also introduce novel thoughts and cutting-edge approaches to the field. Such advances will be key to develop strategies for a sustainable relationship between humanity and its natural basis in an uncertain future.
S4 Symposium: Transformation through Agroecology ▶
Full title: Symposium: Agroecology: towards a transformation of farming and food systems in Europe
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Jens Dauber, Diana Sietz, Tillmann Buttschardt

Contact: jens.dauber@thuenen.de

The GfÖ Specialist Group on Agroecology invites to a session focussing on the agroecological transformation of farming and food systems in Europe. Agroecology means increasing our understanding of ecosystems and using this knowledge to design more sustainable farming practices and systems which would deliver sufficient, safe, nutritious and affordable food, while respecting planetary boundaries and rewarding farmers better. Agroecology is therefore increasingly recognised for its transformational power supporting not only environmental sustainability but also socio-economic resilience. Still, the concept of agroecology is quite broad, consequently, the use at the national and European level can be quite diverse with different stakeholders highlighting different pathways, elements and topics. Based on the recognition that major change is needed to make the agricultural sector more sustainable, resilient and responsive to societal and policy demands, the European Commission is currently developing a European Partnership under Horizon Europe: Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures. This partnership aims to accelerate the transition towards sustainable, climate- and ecosystem-friendly farming practices by i) enabling a better comprehension of agroecological processes from farm to landscape levels, ii) boosting place-based innovation in co-creative environments and iii) improving the flow and uptake of knowledge and innovations on agroecology. This session aims at i) providing an overview of agroecology as a paradigm shift and a scheme for accelerating the necessary transformation of our farming and food systems, ii) introducing the European Partnership on Agroecology and the coming launch of the research programme, and iii) show examples of agroecology territories, living labs and other transdisciplinary research infrastructures aiming at accelerating the agroecological transformation in Europe.
S5 Symposium: Response diversity ▶
Full title: Symposium: Response diversity: theory, observations, experiments, and applications
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Owen Petchey, Francesco Polazzo

Contact: owen.petchey@ieu.uzh.ch

Stability is a core concept in ecology. One particularly relevant component of ecological stability is the temporal variability of aggregate properties, such as total community biomass. Low temporal variability is associated with predictable and sustainable delivery of the ecosystem services on which humanity rely. The insurance effect of biodiversity—that diversity enhances and stabilises aggregate ecosystem properties—has been identified as a key driver of a positive effect of biodiversity on stability of aggregate ecosystem properties. The insurance effect is mechanistically underlain by inter- and intraspecific trait variation in organismal responses to environmental change. This variation, termed response diversity, is therefore a potentially critical determinant of ecological stability. Despite the recent advances in quantification, validation, and application of response diversity, challenges remain. One is to organise and coordinate research about response diversity. The proposed session will provide a forum for researchers to gather, share, and discuss work, and lies in the broader efforts of the recently formed “Response Diversity Network” which the organisers of the proposed session represent. We envisage welcoming contributions that address any area of response diversity research. We envisage contributions from researchers not only in the list of potential speakers that we provide, but also from speakers that request during general submission of abstracts to present in the session. Example areas of response diversity research include: effects of differences in species/genotypes responses to environmental drivers on stability of aggregate community and ecosystem properties; use and extensions of existing methods to measure response diversity in different environmental contexts, spatial and temporal scales; the theoretical foundations of response diversity; theoretical, experimental and field studies investigating how interspecific interactions shift species responses to the environment; theoretical and empirical work about how multifarious environmental change influence species performances, response diversity, and community stability; how identity and abundance of species forming a community influence response diversity; and applications of response diversity research.
S6 Symposium: Biodiversity Monitoring ▶
Full title: Symposium: The Future of Biodiversity Monitoring
[ Primary Research Area: Symposium ]

Chairs: Henrique Pereira, Birgit Gemeinholzer, Wiebke Sickel, Vamsi Krishna Kommineni, Christophe Dominik, Michael Beckmann, Sebastian T. Meyer, Patrick Mäder

Contact: hpereira@idiv.de

Biodiversity monitoring has recently gained importance as it becomes increasingly apparent that developing and tailoring biodiversity policy and management requires better data. This symposium will be the opening of a thread of sessions covering different aspects of biodiversity monitoring.  It will start with two generic talks on EuropaBON and the Essential Biodiversity Variables Framework and then we will have talks presenting each of the monitoring sessions: (1) The co-design of the European Biodiversity Observation Network  (EuropaBON);  (2) Integrating data and modelling of Essential Biodiversity Variables; (3) Monitoring genetic diversity; (4) Novel approaches to biodiversity monitoring;  (5) AI and biodiversity monitoring; (6) Collection digitisation challenges.