Division of Terrestrial Ecology
Speaker: Dr. Stefan Klotz
The Division comprises the Departments Community Ecology, Conservation Biology, Soil Ecology and the experimental research station Bad Lauchstädt. The main objective of the Division is the study of the dynamics of biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystem functioning, especially under conditions of Global Change. The competences covered by the Division refer to:
(i) molecular and population analyses of ecological and evolutionary processes,
(ii) analyses of mechanisms determining patterns of biodiversity and its relations to ecosystem functioning at different scales, including observational, experimental, macroecological and modelling approaches and (iii) the development of indicator systems and monitoring strategies. Especially for this issue long-standing experiences in inter- and transdisciplinary work exist, which - in cooperation with the Division of Social Sciences and the Division of Environmental Modelling - allow to link biodiversity to ecosystem services and socio-economic factors.
The division has access to monitoring and long-term ecological research sites in Germany (LTER-D) and abroad (LTER EUROPE). We provide experimental, monitoring and modelling platforms for co-operation with universities and research institutes. Recent research topics are the influence of (i) land use on species survival and species pools (including land use changes, land use intensity and fragmentation), (ii) the impact of climate change on different compartments of biodiversity and (iii) of biological invasions on biodiversity, (iv) key mechanisms of biodiversity dynamics and (v) its impact on element fluxes. These fields link above and below ground biodiversity, strategies of nature conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and disease control, and risk assessment for biodiversity.