Research & results


It is clear that climate change will have a profound impact on biodiversity in the decades to come. INBO is watching it closely:

  • INBO investigates the effects of climate change on ecosystems. We do this through long-term research in a selection of European protected forests and open habitats in the international context of LTER (Long-Term Ecosystem Research).
  • In the context of climate adaptation, we investigate how the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services can be increased. By combining ecological knowledge of species and ecosystems with climate change and land use scenarios, we produce projections of future biodiversity and species distribution. With this information, policymakers can set about the task of protecting biodiversity as much as possible.
  • With regard to climate mitigation, INBO is investigating the possibilities of capturing greenhouse gases in ecosystems and thus reducing net emissions. To do this, we are studying the geographical distribution of carbon stocks above and below ground, their extent, and how they change over time. We are also examining the effects of management, land use and climate change on carbon storage in ecosystems. In particular, we are paying attention to nature and forest areas with high carbon concentrations, known as carbon hotspots.
  • On 1 December 2016, Flanders decided to implement the Paris Climate Agreement in the Flemish Climate and Energy Pact. The government has drawn up a list of various actions in consultation with the public, some of which are already being carried out.

    INBO contributes to the following commitments in the pact:
    • Building knowledge about the climate robustness of the Natura 2000 network in Flanders
    • Building knowledge in order to substantiate tools for managers
    • Building knowledge of nature‚Äôs contribution to carbon sequestration
    • LTER-Flanders as a research infrastructure for researching and monitoring climate impacts
    • Using the measurement network of unmanaged reference forests (forest reserve measurement network) for particular climate issues
    • Research into the impact of climate change on ecosystem services
    • Research into tree origins as a function of adaptation