to the Research Group Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning

The Research Group of " Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning" is part of the Institute of Landscape Ecology (ILÖK) of the University of Münster. We work on the emergence, preservation and development of landscapes as a product of human activity in interaction with the forces of nature.  The aim of the working group is to contribute to sustainable development in general and to nature conservation strategies and ecological planning methods in particular. We want to build bridges into the future and transfer research from universities into society. We are strong in doing real fieldwork based on classical species surveys and complemented by remote sensing techniques such as UAS data or GIS. In addition, we work intensively with qualitative methods of ethnography and social research. We believe that natural and social sciences must complement each other in landscape ecology.

Study News

Hand Tillmann 2zu1
Research News

Forschung Lehmann 2zu1
Recent Activities
© AG Ökoplan
© B. Kupilas

Everything new or already normality?
The spread of the Corona 2019 virus means change on many levels: A university without students, relocation of activities to the home office, a ban on field research and excursions, shut down of experiments - all these are circumstances that we will have to get used to and hopefully soon will overcome.
Nevertheless, it is also a time to reflect on how we have lived (so far), in what dependence we have tied our existence and our daily life to the global flow of goods, how vulnerable our complex society actually is.
We in the AG ÖKOPLAN are currently thinking about how we can organize the summer semester. Online meetings and collaborative work will not only take place in cooperation with partners from other countries or projects but also at our home university. The picture shows the meeting of a working group from the project internship in M7.
Everything you currently need to know about the courses can be found here.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

New publications

Two new articles have been published. Both of them deal with different areas of the work of the RG Ecological Planning.

  • Harald Grote describes in an article for the Springer journal Wasserwirtschaft "The hydromorphological conditions of the Westphalian Bight". According to the European Water Framework Directive, all running waters are to be brought into a good ecological condition. However, since the streams of the Münsterland are very heavily modified only the good ecological potential applies here. Although great efforts are being made and water bodies have been renaturalised, the desired status often does not show up. In addition, the years 2018 and 2019 showed extreme dryness in the area. The article discusses the relationship between hyrdomorphological conditions, land use and the importance of treated municipal wastewater in the water bodies. The article analyses the years 2006-2015.
  • Cornelia Steinhäuser writes in her Spanish publication: "Los saberes de los ancestros: clave para los vínculos con la Madre Tierra en una comunidad andina en Argentina" (The knowledge of ancestors: Key to the linkages with Mother Earth in an Andean community in Argentina) about the linkages between people and the world, which can be understood as the basis for the design of the landscape there.

© Multec

New research facility at the Münstersche Aa (River)
The construction of the mesocosm facility plant has begun. This comprehensive research approach is intended to find out how various stressors affect the macrozoobenthos community of sandy lowland streams. For this purpose, water from the river Aa will be channelled through 32 mesocosms, which are endowed with a biocoenosis of the river bed of the Vechte. The innovative aspect of this approach is that the mesocosms were specially designed for this system by I. Lober, T. Buttschardt and F. Hotz and printed by Multec (see illustration). The mesomosms consist of corn starch (PLA). In connection with this project, which is financed by the third-party initialising funding of Geosciences department (FB14)  and was designed by B. Kupilas, a case study and a master thesis in M.Sc. Water Sciences, a bachelor thesis in B.Sc. Landscape Ecology and the project course in M7 M.Sc. Landscape Ecology will be carried out in summer term 2020. Learn more on the Limnolab website.

3rd NABU - ILÖK conference on insect decline presented results of the GrünSchatz project (15.02.2020)
On 15.02.2020 the 3rd conference on insect decline was held at the Institute for Landscape Ecology of the WWU Münster. In this context the results of the GrünSchatz project were presented in a workshop. Biogas production as a contribution to an energetic transformation, promotion of biodiversity, avoidance of the use of toxins on arable land and groundwater protection do not have to be mutually exclusive. Furthermore, it has been shown that farmers are very positively disposed towards the cultivation of perennial wild plant mixtures for biogas production. The reduced yields of around EUR 270/ha are comparatively low and could be rewarded within the framework of EU agricultural subsidies (Greening, AECM) or contractual nature conservation or within the framework of production-integrated compensation measures. Please find the presentation here.

Nutrition Council founded
On Friday, February 7, 2020 the kick-off event of the "Ernährungsrat Münster i.G." took place with more than 120 participants. The aim of the Nutrition Council is to establish a resilient, fair and public welfare oriented food system in Münster, which is characterised by e.g. seasonal and regional food from fair and sustainable production. To achieve this goal, five working groups were founded. Sophia Schröder, Master student of Landscape Ecology at the Institute of Landscape Ecology, is spokesperson of the first working group "Food Supply". In the working group, knowledge is to be bundled and projects initiated and supported which promote the establishment of regional food cycles. The working group deals with the question of what a sustainable agriculture in the belt around Münster could look like.

© C. Steinhäuser

Poster presentations
At the Young Researchers Day of the Department of Earth Sciences on 24.01.2020, PhD students* and postdocs presented their current research work. The Working Group Ecological Planning was represented with several posters from the EUfMAa and the BIOBRAS project, among others. Also César Pedrosa Soares (picture with Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt) from the USP presented his work.

© T. Buttschardt

On to new shores!
We bid farewell to longtime companions:
Witold Arndt accompanied the working group from the beginning and was an invaluable support and help not only in (geo)technical details and questions! It is not less than an era that is coming to an end.
Dr. Jan R.K. Lehmann has also been involved for almost a decade and has established UAV-based remote sensing in the working group and at the ILÖK. It is therefore only logical that he will move to the research group of Prof. Dr. Hannah Meyer. As AG Ökoplan, we will continue to work closely together in the future.
At this point we would like to thank you for your presence, your support and the wonderful time! What happens now? Freely adapted from K. Massei: "Continue to sign the Book of the Earth, continue to decide on its path. It is in the hands of the people who write, in the signs they set, what happens to the earth" - and with the people and the relationships among themselves. Once again: Thank you guys!
A new path is also beginning for Viola Krone: she is expecting a baby and is on maternity and parental leave until the beginning of next summer. This is so wonderful and we wish her all the best for this exciting and important time!

2nd BIOBRAS Summerschool


Wild fires in the Serra do Cipó
© Ricardo Solar
  • UAV photo Serra do Cipó
    © Jan Lehmann
  • fieldwork
    © Ricardo Solar
  • students talks
    © AG Ökoplan
  • before take off
    © T. Buttschardt
  • River crossing
    © T. Buttschardt
  • In the earl morning at the LTER-site climatic station
    © T. Butschardt
  • Ricardo Solar organized the Summer School from the Brazil side
    © Ricardo Solar
  • an Ipe - the iconic tree of Brazil
    © Ricardo Solar
  • Prof. Marcos Callisto teaches the brazilian protocol
    © Ricardo Solar
  • Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt teaches the german protocol
    © Ricardo Solar
  • View to Belo Horizonte
    © AG Ökoplan
  • Lecture
    © Jan Lehmann
  • Traverssao
    © Ricardo Solar
  • pesquisa = research
    © Jan Lehmann
  • Snapshot in Cerrado
    © Nico Espadrilha
  • Group picture in INHOTIM Botanic Garden and Arts Museum
    © Ricardo Solar

The world is currently looking to New York, where the 72nd United Nations General Assembly will focus primarily on climate protection and the fires in the Amazon. Since this topic is of the utmost importance also in Münster, it is rightly negotiated so prominently. Less well known, however, is the fact that the Cerrado, one of the most species-rich ecosystems in the world, which alone is home to 4800 endemic animal and plant species, is even more severely affected by deforestation, fires and land use change than the South American forest ecosystems. In the context of the second BIOBRAS Summer School from 10-28.09.2019, Cerrado, Campos rupestres and Cangas will be regarded as so-called "neglected ecosystems" and researched in the Serra do Cipó and Serra do Gandarela. What is special about this summer school is that three universities from two countries (WWU, UFMG and UFV) work together and, above all, that a total of 22 Bachelor and Master students, doctoral students and postdocs as well as a total of 4 professors work together. The summer school is funded by the DAAD. The core concept of the partnership is the integration of teaching into research projects. Among other things, modules for distance learning (webinars, video lectures) are developed in order to make the basics and latest findings available to all partners and the general public. Classical and modern field methods (UAV) as well as a thorough discussion of theoretical concepts (e.g. OCBIL) are applied, also through the contribution of numerous scientists and practitioners from the local institutions.