to the Research Group Applied Landscape Ecology and Ecological Planning

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 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
T. Buttschardt
Recent Activities

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.

Annual Meeting of the GfÖ 2019 - 09 - 13 September 2019 in Münster, Germany

With the conference motto wasser.leben.zukunft, the annual conference of the German Society for Limnology refers to the past UN Decade of "Water for Life" in order to span the arc from current problem fields and new findings to future water-related challenges, which will to be addressed by science, society and politics. The theme of the conference therefore fits in perfectly with the objectives of the Ökoplan research group, which is involved in the conference on several occasions.


  • A02: Diversitäty and Ekologie of aquatic communities
    Moderation: Benjamin Kupilas, Caroline Winking
  • Spurenstoffbelastungen der Münsterschen Aa im jahreszeitlichen Wandel
    Johanna Buss; Saskia Rohrer; Christine Achten; Tillmann Buttschardt
  • Fließgewässermetabolismus als funktioneller Indikator  zur Bewertung von ökologischen Verbesserungen – eine Untersuchung an der Emscher-Versuchsstrecke
    Christian Lieske; Caroline Winking; Benjamin Kupilas; Mario Sommerhäuser; Jens Haberkamp
  • Wanted: Groppe - auf Spurensuche in der Vechte
    Diehle, Naomi, Julia Fröhlich, Jan Philip Josten, Ines Lober, Patrick Günner, Christian Edler, Tillmann Buttschardt
  • Litterbags – ein funktionaler Indikator zur Fließgewässerbewertung im Test an der Münsterschen Aa
    Per-Olaf Walter; Benjamin Kupilas
  • Der Biber – unterschätzter Entwicklungshelfer für NRWs Gewässer?
    Ramona Hinz; Sarah Gerritzen; Verena Haupt; Lukas Iking; Jan R.K. Lehmann; Rainer Mohn; Elisabeth I. Meyer; Ingo Bünning
  • Bewertung von Gewässerrenaturierungen am Beispiel der Münsterschen Aa: ergänzende Methoden für ein ganzheitliches Monitoring
    Mike Müller; Leonie Bley; Melanie Diepenbruck; Sabrina Fehlhaber; Michel Harre; Jasmin Meyer; Friederike Schumann; Lelaina Teichert; Benjamin Kupilas
  • Gewässerökologische Untersuchungen im FFH Gebiet Berkel zur Erstellung eines geeigneten Maßnahmenkonzeptes
    Ramona Winkens; Franziska Roßocha; Jannik Düllmann; Julia Fröhlich; Benjamin Kupilas; Patrick Günner; Saskia Rohrer; Christian Edler; Birgit Stephan; Stefan
    Platz; Tillmann Buttschardt
  • 172 km2 Vielfalt im Münsterland – biologische und hydrochemische Untersuchungen in der Münsterschen Aa
    Saskia Rohrer; Johanna Buss; Benjamin Kupilas; Christine Achten; Tillmann Buttschardt

Annual Meeting of the GfÖ 2019 - 09 - 13 September 2019 in Münster, Germany

As part of the GfÖ conference, the RG Ecological Planning presented a session entitled:
The "new" agroecology: An approach to sustainable agriculture?

The session will be offered in the "German Window" of the conference and will focus on the internationally long-established view of agroecology as a transdisciplinary approach, which has been pursued outside of Germany since the 1990s at the latest, as it becomes clear in a definition by Steve Gliessmann: Agroecology is the integration of research, education, action and change that brings sustainability to all parts of the food system: ecological, economic, and social (GLIESSMANN 2018). In Germany, however, ecology remains in a scientific perspective. read more

Invited speaker of the RG Ecological Planning will be at the conference Julieta Decarre, PhD, Grupo Biodiversidad, Ecología y Gestión Ambiental en Agroecosistemas of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria; Argentinien. She will present her work to the Research Group as well as to the audience of the conference.

Evaluation of fish stocks

© Birgit Stephan, NZ COE

The fish stocks in the Natura 2000 habitat site "Berkelaue are currently being recorded by a cooperation project with Naturschutzzentrum Coesfeld e.V. and the district government of Münster. The aim is to develop specific measures to improve water body structures for fish fauna with a focus on the special Natura 2000 species. In addition, the water body structure quality, the macrozoobenthos as well as local water body parameters will be recorded. For the first time, the newly acquired temperature loggers will also be used, which have been installed at all test sites over a longer period of time. Within the framework of research-based learning, this cooperation project is linked to the case study in M9 (LV 146643) of the M.Sc. Water Sciences and two master's/diploma theses. The work is supervised by Patrick Günner and Dr. Benjamin Kupilas (see Team-page).

Excursion: Oslo / Southern Norway (07.06. - 16.06.2019)


© AG Ökoplan
  • © AG Ökoplan
  • © AG Ökoplan
  • © AG Ökoplan

During Whitsun Prof. Buttschardt and Dr. Kupilas with a total of 16 students (LÖK, 2 subject Bachelor, Wassermaster) were on an excursion to Norway. Packed with tents and hiking boots the journey went from Oslo (Green Capital of Europe 2019), to research stations of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), a hike of several days in the National Park Jotunheimen, over the UNESCO World Heritage Fjord Nærøyfjord to Bergen.

New study to small Game in the GrünSchatz project

© AG Ökoplan

Lara Blome's recently presented master thesis shows that lower strips for renewable energy use like those in the GrünSchatz project were favoured used by small game. The mix of 22 species of wild plants provide food and cover in the otherwise homogeneous landscape. Characterised by a hight density of insects and a heterogeneous structure, different animal species find their habitat. Different habitat requirements can be covered in this culture. Further studies have shown positive effects on diversity and abundance of insects, small rodents or avifauna. Depending on the region and the initial situation, the positive impact on species diversity can vary. In addition, each animal species can react differently to the sowing of wild plants.

New paper: "Mountain farmers’ intangible values foster agroecological landscapes"

The text addresses the question which values, skills and forms of knowledge communities of mountain farmers cultivate in order to preserve and renew species-rich cultural landscapes in the Andes of northern Argentina and the Dolomites of northern Italy.  At two conferences in the context of cultural anthropology and the sustainable development of rural areas, Cornelia Steinhäuser discussed the view of young adults on the continuation of such agro-ecological land use.
Conferencia Las Américas 2019; Bonn
2019 International Geographical Union Commission on the Sustainability of Rural Systems (IGU-CSRS) Colloquium, Saint Paul, MN, USA.

Agroecological landscapes, which promote critical features such as agrobiodiversity, represent valuable global commons. These landscapes are products of ways of life, local knowledge, and rural practices. Recent studies agree on the need to better understand such rooted social-ecological systems by more deeply exploring their human-environment relationships. To address this, we investigated agroecological landscapes in two communities, one in the Andean highlands of northwest Argentina, the other in the Dolomites in northern Italy. This research applies discourse-ethnographic methods to explore how the communities build institutions to protect their culture, how they manage change, and how the environment is perceived and used. Based on the results, we identified several dimensions of farmers’ intangible values, their understanding of well-being, and how they contribute to the genesis of landscapes (maize terraces, alpine pastures). This work shows that many interviewees did not perceive nature merely as a resource or service for humans, as suggested by the widely held discourse of agricultural industrialization, and that alternative relationships to nature are possible and do exist in practice. Further, this work raises relevant issues for how to imagine the transition to agricultural systems that do not define well-being only from the perspective of materiality and of humans.
read more

New phD

© AG Ökoplan

The AG Ökoplan working group has two new doctorates: Eva Huth and Harald Grote received their doctorates at the end of the summer semester. Congratulations!

AG Ökoplan retreat 2019

© AG Ökoplan

On 22 May, the day of biodiversity, the AG Ecological Planning had its retreat at the Wersehaus. Especially the Bachelor students presented their thesis topics there. The number of participants was greater than ever. Qualitatively, the lectures were at a very high level and the range of topics was as great as ever. A fruitful, inspiring and connecting day!

© AG Ökoplan

The efforts of the WFD aim primarily at natural waters, but also man-made waters and streams have a lot to offer ...

Guest Researchers from Brazil

© Sabine Paltrinieri

In April and May the AG Ökoplan is pleased about the visit of three visiting scientists from Brazil. Dr. Dayana Almeida (2nd from left) from the Federal University of São Carlos is working on the project "Delineating Priority Areas for Sustainable Management of the Grasslands from Campos Gerais, Brazil", funded by the Internationalization Fund of WWU. Her research focuses on identifying invasive woody species in the grasslands of Campos Gerais and developing management strategies using GIS and remote sensing techniques. The methodologigal approach is closely linked to the research lines that we followed in the project INSPECTED.NET and the activities of the RG in New Zealand. Ricardo Meireles (1st from left) is a scholarship holder in the BIOBRAS project and works on bird fauna in the grasslands of Central Brazil. He comes from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, and is supervised by Prof. Ricardo Solar (not pictured), who was visiting Münster in May and gave a course from May 13th to 15th in tropical ecology. Also on the picture from l. to r. Prof. Dr. Tillmann Buttschardt, Viola Krone, Dr. Jan Lehmann, Dr. Benjamin Kupilas and Patrick Günner. Sabine Paltrinieri is not in the photo because she was behind the camera.