Humans are putting increasing pressures on the world's ecosystems. We are already seeing strong impacts of habitat loss and changes in nutrient cycling whereas climate change is likely to have increasingly strong impacts during the next century. These current trends can only be understood with reference to the past. Our palaeoecological research has contributed to the understanding of impacts of acidification (i.e. the "Acid Rain" debate), eutrophication, and climate change. We complement these long-term data with experiments and correlative studies to understand the ecological processes controlling responses to environmental change.