Assessment of
Ecosystems under Global
A Concerted Action funded by the 5th Framework Programme of the European Commission
»Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development«; Life time 2002 - 2005
AVEC Objectives AVEC Partners AVEC Kick-off AV Summer 2003 EC Schools 2005 AVEC Droughts Workshop AVEC Land Abandonment Workshop AVEC-MA-EEA Workshop AVEC Papers AVEC Links The ATEAM Project PIK - Homepage

NEWS: Here is a link to the AVEC-sponsored article by Christian Körner et al.: Long-term increase in climatic dryness in the East-Mediterranean as evidenced for the island of Samos. Reg Environ Change (2005) 5:27-36 DOI:10.1007/s10113-004-0091-x

First AVEC - Workshop

- Download the Report on the workshop (ca. 500 kb)

- Go to the photo gallery

Vulnerability of European ecosystems facing an increasing drought risk

A European workshop at Doryssa Bay, Pythagorion,
Samos Greece, 10 - 12 April 2003

The diverse facets of global change that includes changes in atmospheric composition (CO2, NOx, etc.), climate, nitrogen deposition and land use (vegetation change, biodiversity, soils etc.) affect European ecosystems and all services they provide to society. The hydrosphere is a particularly sensitive component. While some parts of the world will get wetter, others may get drier. The increasing risk of droughts caused by alteration in climate and water demand threats large parts of Europe, particularly the Mediterranean and the Balkan region. Shortage in water availability increases the vulnerability of ecosystems and their services like local drinking water supplies, vegetation, animal life, agricultural production as well as forestry, and industry, such as tourism, most important in the Mediterranean area. Direct effects may be accelerated by indirect effects such as altered fire frequency and feedbacks from changed biota and soils.

This workshop shall present the state of the art knowledge of the vulnerability caused by changed water regimes, drought in particular, including as many as possible aspects from science and human dimensions disciplines. Specifically the workshop focuses on
  1. Past and future climates
    • Historical development
    • Dendrochronology
    • Climate scenarios
  2. Influences of land cover and land use on water supply and availability
    • Past and future development
    • Case studies
  3. Droughts and ecosystem responses
    • Impact on agriculture and food security
    • Impact on plants and ecosystems
    • Impact on health industry etc.
  4. Responses of the European policy and the environmental conventions
Workshop Conveners

Christian Körner -- Wolfgang Cramer -- Uta Fritsch

Please contact Uta Fritsch for more information.


The meeting will be held at the hotel Doryssa Bay in Samos, Greece. In the immediate neighborhood of the remains of the Palace of Polycrates (530 before Chr.) and the picturesque village of Pythagorion (a big rectangular triangle in its harbor reminds us to Pytagoras who lived there). The venue is a pleasant convention and cultural center located at the Aegean Sea. The island covers a surface of 480 km², it is a fertile land, with lots of waters and is considered one of the »greenest« islands of Greece. The island is full of olive groves all along the waterfront, while pinewoods cover its more elevated parts. Recent drought and associated fires, but also follow up floods have left their traces in the landscape.

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
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Last updated 05.01.06 by Sabine Lütkemeier