Selected Research Projects

Dynamics of complex ecosystems: temperate and tropical forests

We developed a family of dynamic forest models for species-rich forests (esp. tropical rain forests). The most important models are FORMIND and FORMIX3. These models are based on physiological processes (process-based approach) and describe the development of each tree in the forest (individual-based approach).
Growth of each tree is determined by calculating photoproduction of leaves, respiraton and litter fall. Tree growth and regeneration depend strongly on local light climate in the forest.
FORMIND and FORMIX3 have been applied to forests in different parts of the tropics (Malaysia, Mexico, Venezuela, French Guyana, Paraguay, Brasilia, Chile and Germany). New versions for forests in Tanzania, Ecuador and Sri Lanka are in work.
More informations on our forest models:

If you are interested in using FORMIND or FORMIX3 please contact us.
formind distribution

Towards a unfied theory of spatial diversity

2009 we started a new large project funded by the European Research Council. This project will use advanced spatial statistical methods, process-bases modeling techniques and large inventory data sets to get a new understanding of the role of biodiversity for structure and stability of species rich forests. The will analyse spatial patterns of species richness and reconstruct these patterns with dynamic forests models of different complexity.

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The individual species relationship ISAR: how individual species structure biodiversity

Together with Thorsten Wiegand we developped a new spatial statistics to detect the role of different species in relation to biodiversity. We applied this methods to the rain forest at Barro Colorad Island, Panama. We could detect attractors, repellors and neutral species.

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fragmented forest

The impact of fragmentation on tropical rain forests

In a project funded by the German Ministry for Research we investigate the long-term impacts of fragmentation on rain forests of the Mata Atlantica Region.

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mointain forest

Mountain rain forest in Ecuador: forest dynamics and the role of land slides

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