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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Professorship of Ecological Services (PES) – Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner

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Main Topics

The main areas of research within the group are:

Decision-making: Empirical analysis of actors supplying and demanding ecosystem services  Hide

Decision-makers from regional to global scales do shape the supply and the demand for ecosystem services. With this research we want to investigate how the decision-making is influenced by perceptions of ecosystem services as well as by climate change, markets and policies.

Projects

  • 2017-2018: Integrated Agent based modeling for social-economic-ecological decision support of agricultural landscapes for profitability, resilience and sustainability with the advanced LandscapeDNDC model. BIOTIP Program, financed by BMBF

  • 2015-2018: Sustainable use of alpine and pre- alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS), financed by BMBF funding scheme: "Soil as a Sustainable Resource for the Bioeconomy – BonaRes" as part of the National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 >> more information

  • 2010-2013: Vulnerability of hydrological ecosystem services - Integrative analysis under changes of climate and socio-economy with an emphasis on adaptation (HydroServ), financed by Swiss National Foundation SNF >> More information (PhD student >> Enrico Celio, Topic: Decision-making and hydrological ecosystem services)​

  • 2009-2013: Complex Terrain and Ecological Heterogeneity (TERRECO): Evaluating ecosystem services in production versus water yield and water quality in mountainous landscapes, financed by DFG >> More information (PhD student >> Patrick Poppenborg, Topic: Impact of Socio-Economic Land-Use Decisions on Ecosystem Services)

  • 2008-2011: Sustainable land-use practices in mountain regions: Integrative analysis of ecosystem dynamics under global change, socio-economic impacts and policy implications (MOUNTLAND), financed by CCES-ETH Zurich >> More information (external PhD student >> Julia Brändle: Topic: Socio-economic impacts of changing ecosystem services)​


​Main publications

  • Lee H, C Bogner, S Lee, T Koellner (2016): Crop selection under price and yield fluctuation: Analysis of agro-economic time series from South Korea. Agricultural Systems 148: 1–11. Abstract​

  • ​Mislimshoeva B, R Hable, M Fezakov, C Samimi, A Abdulnazarov and T Koellner (2014): Factors Influencing Households' Firewood Consumption in the Western Pamirs, Tajikistan. Mountain Research and Development 34: 147-156. Abstract and pdf (open access)​

  • Poppenborg P and T Koellner (2014): A Bayesian network approach to model farmers' crop choice using socio-psychological measurements of expected benefits from ecosystem services. Environmental Modelling & Software 57: 227-234. Abstract and pdf

  • Celio E, T Koellner and A Grêt-Regamey (2014): Modeling land use decisions with Bayesian networks: spatially explicit analysis of driving forces on land use change. Environmental Modelling & Software 52: 222-233. Abstract and pdf​

  • Nguyen T T, T Koellner, Q Bao Le, C C Lambini, I-c Choi, H-j Shin and V D Pham (online): The economics of degraded forest rehabilitation with native tree species: A case study of Vietnamese farmers. Biodiversity and Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10531-014-0635-4. Abstract and pdf​

  • Mislimshoeva B, C Samimi, J Kirchhoff and T Koellner (2013): Analysis of costs and people's willingness to enroll in forest rehabilitation in Gorno Badakhshan, Tajikistan. Forest Policy and Economics 37: 75-83. Abstract and pdf

  • Poppenborg P and T Koellner (2013): Do environmental attitudes determine agricultural crop choice? An analysis of farmers’ land use decision-making with respect to ecosystem services in a South Korean watershed. Land Use Policy 31: 422-429. Abstract and pdf​

  • Vignola R, T Koellner, R Scholz and T McDaniels (2010): Decision making by farmers regarding ecosystem services: factors affecting soil conservation efforts in Costa Rica. Land Use Policy 27: 1132-1142. Abstract and pdf​

  • Koellner T, J Sell and G Navarro (2010): Why and how much are firms willing to invest in ecosystem services from tropical forests? A comparison of international and Costa Rican firms. Ecological Economics 69: 2127-2139. Abstract and pdf

  • Koellner T, J Sell, M Gahwiler and R Scholz (2008): Assessment of the management of organizations supplying ecosystem services from tropical forests. Global Environmental Change 18: 746–757. Abstract and pdf​

  • Sell J, T Koellner, O Weber, W Proctor, L Pedroni and R W Scholz (2007): Ecosystem services from tropical forestry projects – The choice of international market actors. Journal of Forest Policy and Economics 9: 496-515. Abstract and pdf

  • Sell J, T Koellner, O Weber, L Pedroni and R W Scholz (2006): Decision criteria of European and Latin American market actors for tropical forestry projects providing environmental services. Ecological Economics 58: 17-36. Abstract and pdf​

Regional human-environment systems: Mapping and modelling of land use, biodiversity and ecosystem servicesHide

To map the physical quantities and the economic value of ecosystem services is an important input into landscape planning on regional to national scales. To supplement such mapping exercises remote sensing can deliver reliable and abundant data. In this research we will explore the use of existing multipspectral (MODIS and Landsat) and new remote sensing technologies (hyperspectral) in order to investigate their potential in the quantification of ecosystem properties relevant for the delivery of services. This will be linked to the spatial distribution of the demand for ecosystem services to assess their economic value. Based on this our goal is to develop spatially explicit models based on Bayesian statistics and to apply them in case studies in Switzerland and South Korea.

Projects

  • 2013-2015: Linking farmland biodiversity to ecosystem services for effective ecological intensification (LIBERATION), financed by the European Union >> more information

  • 2010-2013: Vulnerability of hydrological ecosystem services - Integrative analysis under changes of climate and socio-economy with an emphasis on adaptation (HydroServ), financed by Swiss National Foundation SNF >> More information (PhD student >> Enrico Celio, Topic: Decision-making and hydrological ecosystem services)

  • 2011-2013: Accounting of Ecosystem Services and Policy Recommendations, TEEB project by Ifuplan Munich, ETH Zurich and University of Bayreuth,  financed by BfN >> more information

  • 2010-2014: Remote sensing for ecosystem services, financed by UBT (PhD student >> Yohannes Ayanu)

  • 2009-2013: Complex Terrain and Ecological Heterogeneity (TERRECO): Evaluating ecosystem services in production versus water yield and water quality in mountainous landscapes, financed by DFG >> More information (PhD student >> Patrick Poppenborg, Topic: Impact of Socio-Economic Land-Use Decisions on Ecosystem Services)

  • 2008-2011: Sustainable land-use practices in mountain regions: Integrative analysis of ecosystem dynamics under global change, socio-economic impacts and policy implications (MOUNTLAND), financed by CCES-ETH Zurich >> More information (external PhD student >> Julia Brändle: Topic: Socio-economic impacts of changing ecosystem services)

Main publications

  • Früh-Müller A, S Hotes, L Breuer, V Wolters, T Koellner (2016): Regional patterns of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. Land 5(2), 17; DOI: 10.3390/land5020017. (open access) Abstract

  • Ayanu Y, C Conrad, A Jentsch, T Koellner (2015): Unveiling undercover cropland inside forests using landscape variables: A supplement to remote sensing image classification. PLoS ONE; DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0130079 Abstract and pdf

  • Kim I, Q B Le, S J Park, J Tenhunen and T Koellner (2014): Driving forces in archetypical land-use changes in a mountainous watershed in East Asia. Land 3 (3): 957-980 Abstract and pdf (open access)

  • Früh A, M Wegmann and T Koellner (2015): Flood exposure and settlement expansion since pre-industrial times in 1850 until 2011 in north Bavaria, Germany. Regional Environmental Change 15 (1): 183-193. Abstract and pdf

  • Ayanu Y Z, A Jentsch, D Müller-Mahn, S Rettberg, S Romankiewicz and T Koellner (2015): Ecosystem engineer unleashed: Prosopis juliflora threatening ecosystem services? Regional Environmental Change 15 (1): 155-167. Abstract and pdf

  • Mislimshoeva B, R Hable, M Fezakov, C Samimi, A Abdulnazarov and T Koellner (2014): Factors Influencing Households' Firewood Consumption in the Western Pamirs, Tajikistan. Mountain Research and Development 34: 147-156. Abstract and pdf

  • Arnhold S, S Lindner, B Lee, E Martin, J Kettering, B Seo, T T Nguyen, T Koellner, Y S Ok and B Huwe (2014): Conventional and organic farming: Soil erosion and conservation potential for row crop cultivation. Geoderma 219-220: 89-105. Abstract and pdf

  • Edlinger J, C Conrad, J Lamers, G Khasankhanova and T Koellner (2012): Reconstructing the spatio-temporal development of irrigated production systems in Uzbekistan using Landsat time series. Remote Sensing 4: 3972-3994. Abstract and pfd (open access)

  • Ayanu Y Z, C Conrad, T Nauss, M Wegmann and T Koellner (2012): Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services supplies and demands: A review of remote sensing applications. Environmental Science & Technology 46: 8529-8541 Abstract and pdf

  • Ayanu YZ, C Marohn, TT Nguyen, and T Koellner (2011): Crop production versus surface water regulation services: assessing trade-offs for land use scenarios in the Tat Hamlet Watershed of Vietnam. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 7: 231-244 Abstract and pdf

Interregional flows of ES: Assessing virtual land/water and ecosystem impactsHide

The global trade of commodities enables countries to expand their land area virtually and at the same time to export the impacts on ecosystem services worldwide. With our research we want to quantify the flows of virtual land embedded in commodities (e.g., of the EU) and quantify its impacts on ecosystem services on a global scale.

Projects

  • 2017-2020: MedWater – Sustainable management of politically and economically highly relevant water resources in hydraulically, climatically and ecologically highly dynamic carbonate groundwater aquifers of the Mediterranean. GROW Program, financed by BMBF >> more information

  • 2016-2017: sTeleBES - Telecoupled use of biodiversity and ecosystem services: synthesis of concepts, methods and evidence. iDiv working group >> more information

Main publications

  • Kreidenweis U, S Lautenbach, T Koellner (2016): Regional or global? The question of low-emission food sourcing addressed with spatial optimization modelling. Environmental Modelling & Software 82: 128–141. Abstract

  • Koh L P, T Koellner and J Ghazoul (2013): Transformative optimisation of agricultural land use to meet future food demands. PeerJ 1:e188; DOI 10.7717/peerj.188 Abstract and pdf (open access)

  • Koellner T, ed (2011): Ecosystem Services and Global Trade of Natural Resources: Ecology, Economics and Policies. Routledge Explorations in Environmental Economics, Oxon UK TOC and Abstract

  • Koellner T, and M van der Sleen (2011): Ecosystem Impacts of Virtual Land Use Embodied in Traded Goods and Services Pages 83-105 in T. Koellner, ed. Ecosystem Services and Global Trade of Natural Resources: Ecology, Economics and Policies. Routledge, Oxon, UK TOC and Abstract

  • Würtenberger L, T Koellner and C R Binder (2006): Virtual land use and agricultural trade: Estimating environmental and socio-economic impacts. Ecological Economics 57: 679-697. Abstract and pdf

  • Würtenberger L, C R Binder and T Koellner (2004): Nachhaltige Landwirtschaftspolitik macht an der Grenze nicht halt. GAIA-Ecological Perspectives in Science 13: 191-196. Abstract and pdf

Tools: Integrating land-use, biodiversity and ecosystem services into Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)Hide

Life Cycle Assessment is a tool increasingly used by decision-makers in industries and governments for the analysis of products with respect to environmental impacts. The goal of our research is to integrate the assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services into this method. This improvement should allow to assess e.g., biofuel production more realistically.

Projects

  • 2010-2013: Development and application of environmental Life Cycle Impact assessment Methods for imProved sustAinability Characterisation of Technologies (LC-IMPACT), financed by EU 7th >> More information (Postdoc >> Danielle Maia de Souza, Topic: Impacts of land use on functional biodiversity in LCA)

  • 2009-2013: Assessing and Compensating the Ecosystem Impacts of Agricultural Products in the North-South Context (myEcosystem), financed by CHIRP ETH Zurich >> More information (external PhD student >> Laura de Baan, Topic: Impacts of land use on biodiversity in life cycle assessment)

  • 2008-2012: Operational Characterization Factors for Land use Impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Life-Cycle Impact Assessment (LULCIA) – Compatible with the Framework of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, financed by UNEP  >> More information (coordination of project)

​Main publications

  • Verones F,  M A J Huijbregts, A Chaudhary, L de Baan, T Koellner, S Hellweg (2015): Harmonizing the assessment of biodiversity effects from land and water use within LCA. Environmental Science & Technology 49: 3584−3592. Abstract and pdf

  • de Baan L, M Curran, C Rondinini, P Visconti, S Hellweg and T Koellner (2015): High resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in Life Cycle Assessment using species habitat suitability models. Environmental Science & Technology 49: 2237–2244. Abstract and pdf

  • Mueller C, L de Baan and T Koellner (2013): Comparing direct land use impacts on biodiversity of conventional and organic milk – based on a Swedish case study. Int J LCA 19: 52-68 Abstract and pdf

  • de Baan L, C Mutel, M Curran, S Hellweg and T Koellner (2013): Land use in Life Cycle Assessment: Global characterization factors based on regional and global potential species extinction. Environmental Science & Technology 47: 9281-9290. Abstract and pdf

  • All papers online now & July printed 2013 Special Issue Global Land Use Impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in LCA in the Int J LCA:

  • Koellner T and R Geyer (2013): Global land use assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services in LCA. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1185-1187 PDF of Editorial to the Special Issue

  • Koellner T, L de Baan, T Beck, M Brandão, B Civit, M Margni, L Milà i Canals, R Saad, D Maia de Souza and R Müller-Wenk (2013): UNEP-SETAC Guideline on Global Land Use Impact Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in LCA. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1188-1202 Abstract and pdf (open access)

  • Koellner T, L de Baan, T Beck, M Brandão, B Civit, M Goedkoop, M Margni, L Milà i Canals, R Müller-Wenk, B Weidema and B Wittstock (2013): Principles for Life Cycle Inventories of land use on a global scale. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1203-1215 Abstract and pdf

  • de Baan L, R Alkemade and T Koellner (2013): Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: a global approach. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1216-1230 Abstract and pdf

  • Maia de Souza D, D Flynn, F DeClerck, R Rosenbaum, H de Melo Lisboa and T Koellner (2013): Land use impacts on functional species diversity: proposal of characterization factors to assess effects on ecosystem processes. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1231-1242 Abstract and pdf

  • Saad R, T Koellner and M Margni (2013): Land use impacts on freshwater regulation, erosion regulation and water purification: a spatial approach for a global scale level. Int J LCA 18 (6): 1253-1264  Abstract and pdf

  • Curran M, L de Baan, A de Schryver, R van Zelm, S Hellweg, T Koellner, G Sonnemann, M Huijbregts (2011): Toward  meaningful end points of biodiversity in life cycle assessment. Environmental Science & Technology 45 (1): 70-79. Abstract and pdf

  • Koellner T and R W Scholz (2008): Assessment of land use impacts on the natural environment. Part 2: Generic characterization factors for local species diversity in Central Europe. International Journal of LCA 13: 32-48. Abstract and pdf

  • Koellner T and R W Scholz (2007): Assessment of land use impacts on the natural environment.  Part 1: An analytical framework for pure land occupation and land use change. International Journal of LCA 12: 16-23. Abstract and pdf

  • Koellner T (2003): Land Use in Product Life Cycles and Ecosystem Quality. Peter Lang:  Bern, Frankfurt a. M., New York. 294. Abstract​


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