Many ecosystems are influenced by disturbances such as e.g. land-use, fragmentation, fire, floods or storms. Despite
the fundamental relevance of these disturbances for the dynamics, structure, diversity and functioning of these ecosystems
we still lack a comprehensive understanding how vulnerable and sensitive disturbed ecosystems are to changes in their disturbance
regime. In particular the interaction of different disturbances and between disturbances and other stress factors (such as habitat
loss, pollution or temperature change) is not yet well understood and studied. However, alterations or combinations
of disturbances and multiple stresses are highly relevant in the face of climate change.
The last decades have shown that many species up to communities and ecosystems are not able to cope with such combined changes.
In addition, it has been shown that different ecological communities respond in different ways and with different, positive or negative,
Therefore understanding the complex interplay of multiple stressors and disturbance interactions within the ecological
communities, in particular with respect to their structure and interspecific interactions is pivotal. It is the basis for nature
conservation, risk assessment and the development of possible management strategies and policy advice for disturbed landscapes.
Our department meets these challenges by adressing the following issues:
Analysis of multiple disturbances (logging, fire, landslides, storms, fragmentation) and climatic stressors (drought, CO2, increased temperatures) on the structure and dynamics of forests
Impact of management (mowing, fertilization, irrigation) and climatic stressors (drought, CO2, increased temperatures) on the structure and dynamics of grasslands
Geographic range shifting of species and communities in dynamic landscapes
Impact of environmental stress and disturbances on the stability and functioning of microbial ecosystems
Modelling the isolated and combined effect of stressors on honeybee colonies
Population and community dynamics under different disturbance regimes
Functional resilience of aquatic ecosystems under multiple stressors
Ecological-Economic Modelling for grassland species conservation impacted by land use