cultures The microcosm approach allows to monitor phytoplankton growth along environmental gradients. Growth performance of assembled communities will be analyzed based on community-, population-, species- and single cell-level to investigate morphological and physiological adaptations at different temporal scales. High throughput flow cytometry allows a detailed analysis of community composition, phenotypic plasticity or inter- and intraspecific trait shifts. The data will be used to get a mechanistic understanding of e.g. interaction effects, stress responses or resilience processes.

Poster - Microcosms-approach for multi-species and multi-parameter experiments with phytoplankton communities

Project 1 - A mechanistic test of resilience provisioning of biodiversity across environmental gradients

Scientific investigators

Prof. Dr. W. Stan Harpole (PI)
Dr. Antonis Chatzinotas (PI)
Dr. Susanne Dunker
M. Sc. Peter Hofmann

About project

Experiments have shown a consistent positive effect of biodiversity (the numbers of coexisting species) on the emergent properties and processes of ecosystems (i.e. ecosystem function). These experiments provide solid empirical support for the need to safeguard biodiversity and thus maintain the provisioning of services that that ecosystems provide. At the same time human activities are causing global changes in multiple important environmental factors including nutrients, temperature and pH. While the effects of global change on diversity loss are expected to cascade to contribute to loss of ecosystem functions, a theoretical understanding of how species diversity-ecosystem function relationships change along gradients of global change factors is missing.

Project 2 -Quantification of allelopathic growth effects in mono - and mixed cultures of microalgae

Bachelor thesis, Johanna Knechtel, 2017