Urban Ecology

Urban ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their environment in urban areas. Although cities may seem like inhospitable places for wildlife, they are actually teeming with biodiversity. As Prof. Buchholz from the CIBRA puts it, "Cities are not these hostile places; cities are islands of biodiversity."

It is important to study urban ecology because as cities continue to grow and expand, the ecosystems within them are changing. These changes can have significant impacts on the plants and animals that call cities home. Additionally, urban areas often create new selection pressures that can lead to the evolution of new traits in organisms.

However, there are still many knowledge gaps in the field of urban ecology. For example, researchers are still trying to understand how different species cope with the various stressors that occur in urban areas, such as light and noise pollution or biological invasions. They are also trying to determine if the changes in urban ecosystems are uniform across all cities or if they vary depending on location.

To close these knowledge gaps, we are studying the spatial and temporal changes in biodiversity and the effects of different aspects of global change on biodiversity, biotic interactions, and ecosystem functions.

We then relate our research to practice in close contact to stakeholders from nature conservation and politics and create a basis for evidence-based species conservation. By implementing biodiversity monitoring and long-term observations, we hope to contribute to the development of strategies to tackle the biodiversity crisis.