Welcome to the Plant Ecology & Nature Conservation Group!
Understanding the responses and adaptations of organisms to their abiotic and biotic environment are at the core of Ecology. And identifying vulnerable points in these complex relationships – namely when environments are changing – links ecological theory to nature conservation and its practice.
In this context, we address several topics. One is understanding adaptation strategies of plants to increasing aridity. Here, we test current theories and their underlying trade-offs across different spatial scales with a focus on Mediterranean plants and on implications for ongoing climate change.
Another focus with a stronger applied edge is understanding population dynamics of endangered central European plant species, namely wetland orchids. Here, we investigate effects of changing land use, climate and management practice and their consequences for species’ vulnerability to provide refined advice for conservation practice.
Beyond plants, related questions are investigated for arthropod communities.
Our methods include and combine e.g. extensive field studies, controlled manipulative experiments under standardized conditions, and utilization of archived data.
Another focus are environmental education and stakeholder conflicts in nature conservation, especially with conflictual species like wolves, to assess strategies for conflict mitigation.
We are especially interested in collaborating with nature conservation practitioners.