This week brought three members of The 3D Lab (Jonas, Ronja and Jan) to the 4th meeting of Oikos, the Nordic Society for Ecology, in beautiful Reykjavik. As ecologists rooted in northern Scandinavia with most of our fieldwork and research topics, this bi-annual gathering of nordic ecologists seemed like the perfect place to learn.
And oh yes, were we right! With the theme of this year’s meeting ‘Ecology in the Anthropocene’, the meeting focused on how we can study and save our biodiversity in Scandinavia and beyond in a time with rapid global changes. And no setting is better suited for that than wild and fragile Iceland.
With its impressive waterfalls, geysers, mountains and volcanoes, Iceland is the place to be to admire the indestructable power of nature. On the other hand, however, it is part of the vulnerable Arctic, more than any place on earth suffering from rapid climate changes.
This wild winter wonderland provides the perfect backdrop for a group of 350 ecologists to discuss ways in which we can conserve our precious nature. And The 3D Lab was happy to contribute.
Ronja presented her work on how non-native plant species are moving into the mountains along hiking trails, while Jan showed his results on the role of mycorrhizal fungi and their interaction with plant roots in defining how high these invasive species can move up in the mountains.
I myself will present in tomorrow morning’s session the first results of our global SoilTemp database initiative, arguing that in these times of global change, more than ever ecologists need the correct climate data to answer their questions. Not what’s measured in these standardized weather stations, yet what is actually felt by the biodiversity we are studying.