Institute of Landscape Ecology


Conference "Insect declines"


Over the past 27 years, insects biomass in parts of Northern Germany has declined by 75%. The consequences for the environment, for wildlife and humans are far-reaching. Therefore, together with the NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union) the Institute of Landscape Ecology of the University of Münster invited to the symposium "Insect declines: State of Knowledge - Research - Countermeasures" on February, 17th 2018. Experts from science, agriculture and nature conservation discussed the current situation, threats and countermeasures.

Further information [in german], the 'Münsteraner Appell', an appeal to all stakeholders, as well as the presentations can be found at the NABU website.

Wet forests and climate change - state and future

Flyer-fachtagung-fechtwaelder-im-klimawandel Cover Small
© Fit für den Klimawandel

The final conference of the "Fit for Climate Change" project was held on the 15th and 16th of February, 2018 at the Institute of Landscape Ecology. Approximately 150 participants joined.

documentation of the conference, with talks, posters and field trips [in german]

press release of the NABU-Naturschutzstation Münsterland [in german]

television report of the WDR in the local tv news "Lokalzeit Münsterland" from 15th of February including an interview with Dr. Britta Linnemann on the project, available until 22nd of February

New publications at the ILÖK

  • Verberk, WCEP; Leuven, RSEW; van der Velde, G; Gabel, F. (2018): Thermal limits in native and alien freshwater peracarid Crustacea: The role of habitat use andoxygen limitation. Functional Ecology 00:1–11. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.13050
  • Klaus,VH.; Schäfer D.; Prati, D.; Busch, V.; Hamer, U.; Hoever, CJ.; Kleinebecker, T.; Mertens, D.; Fischer, M.; Hölzel, N (2018): Effects of mowing., grazing and fertilization on soil seed banks in temperate grasslands in Central Europe. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 256: 211-217, doi:
  • E.-Vojtkó, E., Freitag, M., Bricca, A., Martello, F., Moreno Compañ, J., Küttim M, Kun R, de Bello F, Klimešová J, Götzenberger L (2017) Clonal vs leaf-height-seed (LHS) traits: which are filtered more strongly across habitats? Folia Geobotanica 52(3-4): 269–281 doi:10.1007/s12224-017-9292-1
  • Bucharova, A., Durka, W., Hölzel, N., Kollmann, J., Michalski, S., Bossdorf, O . (2017) Are local plants the best for ecosystem restoration? It depends on how you analyze the data. Ecology and Evolution 7 (24): 10683–10689 doi:10.1002/ece3.3585
  • Große-Stoltenberg, A., Hellmann, C., Thiele, J., Oldeland, J. and Werner, C. (2018), Invasive acacias differ from native dune species in the hyperspectral/ biochemical trait space. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi:  10.1111/jvs.12608
  • Ivanova, L., Yudina, P., Ronzhina, D., Ivanov, L, Hölzel, N. (2018) Quantitative mesophyll parameters rather than whole-leaf traits predict response of C3 steppe plants to aridity. New Phytologist 217 (2): 558–570 doi:10.1111/nph.14840
  • Busch, V., Klaus, V.H., Penone, C., Schäfer, D., Boch, S., Prati,D., Müller, J., Socher, S., Niinemets, Ü., Peñuelas, J., Hölzel, N., Fischer, M., Kleinebecker, T. (2018) Nutrient stoichiometry and land use rather than species richness determine plant functional diversity. Ecology and Evolution 8 (1): 601–616 doi:10.1002/ece3.3609

further Publications: ILÖK, Arbeitsgruppen, Mitarbeiter

Yellow-breasted Bunting: uplisted to Critically Endangered, consumption and trade go on, but there is hope

Illegally trapped Yellow-breasted bunting in China
© Huang Qiusheng

Yellow-breasted Bunting, once a superabundant songbird species, has declined by 85-95% since the early 1980s, with heavy, illegal persecution in China being an important driver. The species' status has recently been updated to Critically Endangered on IUCN's international Red List, based on a quantitative assessment of the decline led by Johannes Kamp of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group.

However, birds are still caught and sold in larger numbers, even on eBay-like platforms in China. A price of 15-30 USD per bird suggests high demand. Good news is that conservation organizations along the flyway are raising awareness, see e.g. this excellent video from Hongkong. Also, the Chinese law has been changed, and hunting and consumption are now criminal offences.
More research is underway to shed light on the year-round distribution and flyways of the species. Data on migration routes have been retrieved from geolocator devices by Wieland Heim. This will help us to identify key areas for conservation of the species, and learn more about potential additional drivers of the decline, such as land-use change and agricultural intensification on the wintering grounds.

Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt

Klaus-Holger Knorr has qualified as a professor

© K.-H. Knorr

Dr. rer. nat. Klaus-Holger Knorr (Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry Research Group)was awarded the Venia legendi for Biogeochemistry by the Department of Geosciences on 29.11.2017 with a cumulative thesis on the topic:"Using organic matte quality, stable isotopes, and electron transfer processes as tools to understand mechanisms of element cycling in wetlands". Congratulations!

Further Links

  • Research at the Institute of Landscape Ecology
  • Staff of the Institute of Landscape Ecology