• A climate mirror: The growth of trees reveals much about environmental conditions.

    From the soil to the treetops

    From the treetops down to the soil level, plants and microorganism have to adapt to climate change. Down to the nanometer level, researchers are tracking these alterations.

    Read the article

  • Green stripes along a river can influence the climate of a city

    Green infrastructure for cooler cities

    Natural air conditioning: green stripes along a river can influence the climate of a city. Prof. Stephan Pauleit is investigating the effects of different tree species.

    More about new urban concepts

  • Experimental set-up of the free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment in a forest located 70 kilometers north of Manaus, Brazil

    Research on the lungs of our planet

    In the ecosystem experiment “AmazonFACE,” Prof. Anja Rammig studies the interplay between forest and atmosphere.

    Read the interview

  • Tractor fertilizing in a grain field

    Protecting groundwater without compromising yields

    How to determine optimal fertilizer quantities without polluting groundwater with excess nitrate?

    Learn more

Research Department Life Science Systems

The Research Department Life Science Systems (LSS) investigates natural and used systems from an ecosystem perspective, including social and economic aspects - for example in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

The focus is on understanding the ecological processes underlying the functioning of ecosystems and the development of sustainable ecosystem management strategies. In principle, all compartments (soil to atmosphere) and all groups of organisms in the ecosystem (plants, animals, fungi, microbes, but also humans), their interactions, as well as element and water cycles are included in our considerations. The department understands ecosystems as part of socio-ecological systems and covers important interfaces between ecosystems and humans, to provide science-based support of a good life of people.

Research Focus Areas

Within the European research landscape, the department is unique in that it has a strong focus on land use at the landscape scale, and that it develops strategies that transcend individual ecosystems and disciplines. Research integrates agricultural, forest, freshwater and urban ecosystems and addresses especially their links and interactions.


Citizen Science: Tracking Climate Change in your Backyard

How does global warming affect plants, pollen allergies, animals and tree borders in Bavaria? Together with the citizens of Bavaria, Prof. Menzel aims to find a practical means of handling climate change:

Citizen scientists can enter their observations on the Baysics data portal to support research projects.

The interactive citizen science portal BAYSICS provides a forum for this dialog. Explore your environment, enter your observations and join the research.

Read the interview with Prof. Menzel

Early Flowering

Annette Menzel demonstrates the BAYSICS app by taking a picture, which can be uploaded.

Prof. Annette Menzel conducts research on global warming and its impacts on humans and nature in future. Learn how early flowering or phenology can be a bioindicator for climate change.

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Urban Animals

[Translate to english:] „Igelschubladen“ dienen als Tagesquartier und Überwinterungsmöglichkeit in Wohngebieten.

In his citizen science project, Prof. Wolfgang Weisser conducts research on animals in the city in order to change urban planning processes and give greater consideration to the needs of humans and animals.

Learn more

Infrastructure & Equipment of the Department

A strength of the department is the access to state-of-the-art experimental stations and long-term experiments, climate chambers, greenhouses and laboratories. The department manages or has access to a network of experimental and observation sites both nationally and internationally where studies are carried out under field conditions.

In Bavaria, these are three TUM research stations, which are primarily used by the Life Science Systems department: the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station in Berchtesgaden as well as the Limnological Research Station Iffeldorf.

Contact persons and internal area