Climate change impacts on biological diversity in Bavaria: multidimensional integration for better biodiversity projections

Climate change is now one of the most important threats for biodiversity. Especially in concert with land-use change it presents unprecedented challenges to populations, species, and ecosystems.

Central goal of the MIntBIO project is to improve our understanding of the impacts of climate and land-use change on animal diversity in Bavaria and, based on that, to build realistic projections of biodiversity change.

For this, we will combine distribution data on the bavarian fauna (e.g. birds, butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers) using innovative methods from biogeography and ecology with additional biological and geographical data, in order to develop future scenarios for the diversity of animal life in Bavaria based on an integration across scales, animal groups and methodological disciplines.

The results, e.g. on the potential responses of species to climate change in landscapes that are extensively modified by humans, will be discussed with stakeholders from nature conservation, land-use and politics, to develop sustainable policy options for the preservation of Bavarian biodiversity.

Principal investigator
Prof. Dr. Christian Hof
Chair for Global Change Ecology
Faculty for Biology
Justus-Maximilians-University Würzburg


  • European Habitats Directive has fostered monitoring but not prevented species declines
    Engelhardt EK, Bowler DE, Hof C
    Conservation Letters 2023; e12948
  • Potential effects of future climate change on global reptile distributions and diversity
    Biber MF, Voskamp A, Hof C
    Global Ecology and Biography 2023; 32: 519-534
  • Consistent signals of a warming climate in occupancy changes of three insect taxa over 40 years in central Europe
    Engelhardt EK, Biber MF, Dolek M, Fartmann T, Hochkirch A, Leidinger J, Löffler F, Pinkert S, Poniatowski D, Voith J, Winterholler M, Zeuss D, Bowler DE, Hof C
    Global Change Biology 2022
  • Global impacts of climate change on avian functional diversity
    Stewart PS, Voskamp A, Santini L, Biber MF, Devenish A, Hof C, Willis SG, Tobias JA
    Ecology Letters 2022; 25 (3): 673-685
  • Representation of the world’s biophysical conditions by the global protected area network
    Biber M, Voskamp A, Hof C
    Conservation Biology 2021
  • Überlebenswichtig: Biodiversität
    Hof C
    Umweltzeitung des Umweltzentrums Braunschweig 2021; 05/2021: 16-18
  • Towards more integration of physiology, dispersal and land-use change to understand the responses of species to climate change
    Hof C
    Journal of Experimental Biology 2021; 224
  • Considering sustainability thresholds for BECCS in IPCC and biodiversity assessments
    Creutzig F, Erb KH, Haberl H, Hof C, Hunsberger C, Roe S
    GCB Bioenergy 2021; 13 (4): 510-515
  • Trait-based assessments of climate-change impacts on interacting species
    Schleuning M, Neuschulz EL, Albrecht J (et al., et seq.), Hof C
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution 2020; 35(4): 319-328
  • Macroecology as a hub between research disciplines: Opportunities, challenges and possible ways forward
    Leitao PJ, Andrew CJ, Engelhardt EK (et al., et seq.), Hof C
    Journal of Biogeography 2019; 47(1): 13-15
  • Ignoring biotic interactions overestimates climate change effects: The potential response of the spotted nutcracker to changes in climate and resource plants
    Engelhardt EK, Neuschulz EL, Hof C
    Journal of Biogeography 2019; 47(1): 143-154
  • Host assemblage and environment shape beta-diversity of freshwater parasites across diverse taxa at a continental scale
    Berkhout BW, Borregaard MK, Brandl R (et al., et seq.), Hof C
    Global Ecology and Biogeography 2019; 29(1): 38-49
  • A comparison of macroecological and stacked species distribution models to predict future global terrestrial vertebrate richness
    Biber MF, Voskamp A, Niamir A, Hickler T, Hof C
    Journal of Biogeography 2019; 47(1): 114-129
  • Macroecology in the age of Big Data – Where to go from here?
    Wüest RO, Zimmermann NE, Zurell D (et al., et seq.), Hof C, Cabral JS
    Journal of Biogeography 2019; 47(1): 1-12
  • Bereicherung oder Bedrohung? Zur komplexen Beziehung von Biodiversität und historischen Gärten im Klimawandel
    Hof C
    Historische Gärten und Klimawandel: Eine Aufgabe für Gartendenkmalpflege, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft 2019: 211-222; Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Hüttl RF, David K, Schneider BU (Hrsg.), Walter de Gruyter
  • Bioenergy cropland expansion may offset positive effects of climate change mitigation for global vertegrate diversity
    Hof C, Voskamp A, Biber MF et al.
    PNAS 2018; 115 (52): 13294-13299

Doctoral Thesis

  • Development of multidimensional models integrating different scales and taxa for a better understanding and projection of the effects of climate and land use change on the Bavarian fauna
    Engelhardt, Eva Katharina (laufende Dissertation, MintBio)
  • Current and future impacts on global biodiversity and nature conservation
    Biber, Matthias (laufende Dissertation, MintBio)

Final Papers

  • Thermal tolerances and biogeography of Central European dragonfly species
    Schenkel, Elisa (laufende Masterarbeit, MintBio)
  • Climate and land-use change impacts on the distribution of selected bird species
    Geisler, Andreas (laufende Masterarbeit, MintBio)
  • Decoding cryptic species: An analysis of the impact of climate change on the distribution of Aricia agestis and Aricia artaxerxes
    Onay, Anabel (laufende Masterarbeit, MintBio)
  • Ecological value of fruit trees on scattered orchards in Bavaria
    Ungar, Benjamin (laufende Masterarbeit, MintBio)
  • Einfluss von Klima-, Landnutzungs- und Topografievariablen auf die Artverbreitung verschiedener Singvogelarten – Ein Vergleich auf Skalen in Europa, der Schweiz und im Kanton Glarus mit unterschiedlichen Klimamodellen
    Hofmann, Laura (Masterarbeit 2021, MintBio)
  • Inter- and intraspecific variation of physiological thermal limits of grasshoppers along an elevational gradient in the Bavarian Alps and beyond
    Wagner, Carolin (Masterarbeit 2021, MintBio)
  • Climatic influence on dragon- and damselfly distributions at different spatial scales
    Studnicka, Eva (Masterarbeit 2020, MintBio)
  • Species distribution modelling of selected grasshopper species in Europe and Bavaria
    Jäkle, Katja (Bachelorarbeit 2020, MintBio)