Flock of Atlantic puffins on the Treshnish Isles

Current and future impacts of climate change in Germany are perhaps the most significant among many threats (e.g. pollution, increasing urban development and land use changes) to biodiversity in Germany. The 2019 federal Climate Change Monitoring Report identifies seasonal changes in the development of wild plant species, species shifts in bird communities and alluvial meadows as impacts to climate change. This report indicates that climate change impacts are not only a threat but may also positively affect species diversity.

Main objectives of the federal government’s adaptation strategy include the anticipatory consideration of climate change and biodiversity impacts within landscape planning, conservation and protected area management. At the federal level both the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and the National Strategy for Biodiversity share the goals of reducing stressors to protected species and ecosystems and recognize the importance of biodiversity for increasing the resilience of ecosystems.

At the state level, 15 of 16 states have included biodiversity as an area of action in their climate change adaptation strategies or sustainable development plans, while most states also address matters of climate change and adaptation in their biodiversity strategies. Our research is focused on the state of Hesse, which include the protection of “natural capital” from negative impacts of climate change in the primary objectives of its Integrated Climate Protection Program Hesse 2025. Implementation of the majority of Hesse’s 140 climate change mitigation and adaptation measures has begun, including the restoration of alluvial meadows and preservation and development of nature corridors (Biotopverbundsysteme).