Change in grassland functional composition

With climate change extreme weather events become more 'extreme' and drought severity is expected to increase while land-use intensification is undermining grassland resistance to drought. Highly valued services of grassland are at risk.



This project aims at rising awareness of the risks from high land-use intensity and climate change providing experimental evidence for grassland stability and the thresholds of transition for plant communities of high nature value.

Course of action

We apply stability metrics to explore the effects of a range of severe droughts on the functional composition and functioning of grassland (1) in a multi-site experiment across functionally disparate grasslands shaped by different land-use intensity, (2) a common garden experiment with multi-species communities assembled from species with different traits, (3) using an unexplored series of biomass and species frequency data from a long-term study in semi-natural grassland.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 2: Zero hunger
  • 15: Life on land