News - Archive since 2015

© FlorSoz

British colleagues visiting the floodplain meadows at the Upper Rhine

meeting in the meadow

Photos

© Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership
  • © Mike Dodd - Floodplain Meadows Partnership

British colleagues from „Floodplain Meadows Partnership“ lead by Professor David Gowing came to visit the floodplain meadows at the northern Upper Rhine in June.

Matthias Harnisch, project manager in Riedstadt, and Norbert Hölzel, doing research in the projects since years, took their guests to old floodplain meadows as well as 20-years-old and new restoration sites. The colleages were impressed to see the species-rich and diverse sites and the successful restoration projects.

An article in german is available on the Riedstadt website.

© UT/Denis Zinoviev

Honorary Professor degree for Norbert Hölzel

The University of Tyumen has granted Norbert Hölzel a Honorary Doctor degree, to value his engagement for the german-russian cooperation in research.

Lab fieldtrip
© AG BOeF

Spring Flowers in the Eifel mountains

Last sunday, with best sunny weather, most of of the lab members went to see pasqueflower and daffodil in the Eifel mountains and enjoy a day outside together.

Recently a paper of our working group, dealing with the effects of post-Soviet cropland abandonment on soil carbon sequestration in Western Siberia, got published online in  Global Change Biology. The paper is based on a unique field data set with more than 470 sampling points across three test areas and stratified by land-use type that were collected in the course of the SASCHA-Project. Our results yield clear empirical evidence that abandoned croplands in Russia are currently a climate-relevant sink of atmospheric carbon. Research was conducted in close cooperation with colleagues from the University Applied Sciences in Osnabrück and Tyumen State University in Western Siberia.

Picture: Humus-rich Chernozem soils in the forest steppe zone of Western Siberia store more than 20 kg of organic carbon per m². Photo: T-M Wertebach

Wertebach T-M, Hölzel N, Kämpf I, Yurtaev A, Tupitsin S, Kiehl K, Kamp J, Kleinebecker T (in press) Soil carbon sequestration due to post-Soviet cropland abandonment: Estimates from a large-scale SOC field inventory. Global Change Biology [doi: 10.1111/gcb.13650]

© WWU/Karola Heveling/AG Hölzel

Spotlight on 'Genetics and Restoration' in the Journal of Applied Ecology

In the current issue of Journal of Applied Ecology a Spotlight on 'Genetics and Restoration' has been launched including a directly linked blog post by Ryan Sadler from University of Toronto.
All five spotlight papers inlcuding two with involvement of our lab are currently free to read online.

Bucharova A, Michalski S, Hermann J-M, Heveling K, Durka W, Hölzel N, Kollmann J, Bossdorf O (2017) Genetic differentiation and regional adaptation among seed origins used for grassland restoration: lessons from a multispecies transplant experiment. Journal of Applied Ecology 54 (1): 127–136 [doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12645]
Durka W, Michalski SG, Berendzen KW, Bossdorf O, Bucharova A, Hermann JM, Hölzel N, Kollmann J (2017) Genetic differentiation within multiple common grassland plants supports seed transfer zones for ecological restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 54 (1): 116–126 [doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12636]

Successful follow-up application
© Valentin H. Klaus

Prolongation of the ESCAPE project

Dr. Ute Hamer (Soil Ecology and Land Use), Dr. Till Kleinebecker and Prof. Dr. Norbert Hölzel (both Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group) successfully applied for a prolongation of the ESCAPE project within the Biodiversity Exploratories at the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - German Research Foundation). In close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer and Dr. Daniel Prati from the University of Bern the effects of seed addition and disturbance on plant diversity, nutrient retention and litter decomposition along a land-use gradient will be further evaluated in the SADE experiment. Coordinated by postdoc Dr. Valentin Klaus this project stage will again allow for various options for students projects and theses.

© Frank Derer / Nabu.de

Winter Garden Bird Survey

Last weekend, German Birdlife partner NABU called for citizens to count all birds in their garden or local park. What such citizen science surveys can reveal about the state of garden birds explained  Johannes Kamp in a interview on lokal television.
Newspaper: Spiegel online 05.01.2017, WN online 06.01.2017
Information on the NABU's "Winter Garden Birdwatch"

Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
© Kristin Gilhaus

Special Issue on Grazing in European open landscapes

A Special Issue of Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment edited by Péter Török, Sabine Tischew, Rudy van Diggelen and Norbert Hölzel on Grazing in European open landscapes is out now, compiling papers on the potential of traditional and alternative grazing practices. Topics such as sustaniability, biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services, and agri-envrionmental schemes are covered.
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 234 (October 2016) Special Issue: Grazing in European open landscapes: how to reconcile sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation?

A winter visit to the Yamal tundra

Photos

Reindeer bulls just losing the skin from their fresh antler. Fresh Reindeer antlers sold to China provide currently new and major source of income to Nenets Reindeer herders
© Norbert Hölzel
  • Conference theme
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • The shuttle bus of the Tundra: MI 8 helicopter from Soviet times - old but faithful and reliable.
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • “Tschums”, traditional nomad tents covered with Reideer skins, wooden sledges and a satellite antenna.
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • Nenets kids, a little confused by the crowd entering their camp.
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • Domestic Reindeers in the Shrub-Tundra of the southern Yamal peninsula
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • My first frosty winter experience in the Tundra.
    © Norbert Hölzel
  • A brand new Finnish Reindeer slaughter house in the Tundra: 320 tons of reindeer meat products are exported annually to Germany and other European countries.
    © Norbert Hölzel

Upon invitation by the government of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district in the very north of Western Siberia, Norbert Hölzel and Ramona Fitz joint an international conference on “Preventing the dissemination of infectious animal diseases on climate change” held in the city of Salekhard at the polar circle  from November 9th to 11th, 2016.

The conference topic was directly related to the first outbreak of Anthrax in Yamal since 1940 in July 2016 which killed 2.400 Reindeers and a 12 year old boy of a Nenets reindeer herder family. The Anthrax outbreak was most likely triggered by the extraordinary warm weather conditions in summer 2016 causing a deep melt down of permafrost soils that exposed persistent Anthrax spores. Russian and international experts from reindeer husbandry, veterinary science and grazing ecology discussed how such outbreaks can be controlled and mitigated under ongoing climate change.

Yamal is the last stronghold of reindeer husbandry worldwide with more than 14.000 indigenous people maintaining a nomadic life style, currently keeping ca. 750.000 Reindeers. During a helicopter excursion to the Tundra of the southern Yamal peninsula the conference participants were introduced to the peculiarities of regional reindeer husbandry and the nomadic life style of Nenets people.

Meeting in China on Conservation Measures for the Endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting

Photos

A new poster for awareness raising among consumers
© NN
  • Group picture
    © Simba Chan
  • Registration desk at Sun Yat Sen University
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Chinese and Hongkong participants
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Brainstorming for conservation action
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Fixing priorities is not always serious business
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Developing further research steps
    © Johannes Kamp

In 2015, member of our group had helped to reveal the catastrophic population collapse of what was once one of the most abundant bird species of Eurasia, the Yellow-breasted Bunting. At that time, we concluded that ongoing illegal persecution of the species for food was one of the main reasons of the decline.

From 2-4 November 2016, a workshop was organized in Guangzhou, China, by Birdlife International, Sun Yat Sen University and the Hongkong Birdwatching Society. It aimed to bring together representatives of all countries that host Yellow-breasted Buntings during the breeding season and in winter, from Russia and China to Myanmar and Thailand. Each country provided an update on current population trends and threats to the species. Much emphasis was put on a prioritization of conservation measures, such as better enforcement of laws against illegal trapping and awareness raising among wildlife consumers. A new wildlife law will be approved in 2017 in China and there are high hopes that it will give the Yellow-breasted Bunting a higher level of protection. Exciting collaborative projects on research and conservation involving multiple range states were also agreed.

Summary of the meeting at the website of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): www.cms.int/es/node/10782

Special Issue on Palearctic steppes

© Johannes Kamp

A Special Issue of Biodiversity and Conservation on the ecology and conservation of the Palearctic steppes is now out, including eight publications of our Working Group - one new synthesis paper and several papers on results of the projects in Russia (SASCHA) and Kazakhstan (BALTRAK).
Biodiversity and Conservation Volume 25, Issue 12 (November 2016) - Special Issue: Palaearctic Steppes: Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation. Edited by Jürgen Dengler, Didem Ambarlı, Johannes Kamp, Péter Török, Karsten Wesche

'North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment' published as book

© SpringerOpen

Within the 'North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment' (NOSCCA) Prof. Norbert Hölzel together with Prof. Thomas Hickler (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) and Goethe University Frankfurt) and Prof. Lars Kutzbach (CEN, University Hamburg) as Lead Authors composed a chapter on Environmental impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems in the North Sea Region.
Initiated by the Institute of Coastal Research of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht in Germany, the NOSCAA Report is a comprehensive climate change assessment for the Greater North Sea region and adjacent land areas. Recent and future climate changes and their impacts are discussed for the North Sea, rivers, lakes and atmosphere as well as terrestrial ecosystems and socio-economic aspects, for example coastal protection or fisheries. NOSCCA is writen by over thirty Lead Authors and numerous Contributing Authors under the overview of an international Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and with an independent review. The report is now published as book with Open Access by Springer.

Hölzel N, Hickler T, Kutzbach L, Joosten H, van Huissteden J, Hiederer R (2016) Environmental Impacts - Terrestrial Ecosystems. In: Quante M, Colijn F (eds.) North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment. Regional Climate Studies, Part III, pp 341-372 [doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39745-0_11] Available under Open Access

© Valentin Klaus

Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multi-functionality

Not only birds and flowers, but also rather unpopular insects and invisible soil-dwelling organisms maintain a wide range of ecosystem services. This is the result of a recent study published in Nature, to which Norbert Hölzel, Till Kleinebecker and Valentin Klaus of our group contributed. The lead author Dr. Santiago Soliveres of the University of Bern synthesized extensive datasets on a large number of taxa, that had been collected since 2009 in the framework of the DFG focal programme “Biodiversity Exploratories”. (press release)

Family Events in our Working Group!

Congratulations for the (almost) newlyweds! Ho and Van tied the knot on the 16th of April of this year. We wish them all the best for their future!

More Babynews for the ILÖK! Hale and hearty Lina was born on 17th of June.
Congratulations and all the best to the parents, Anne and Wanja!

Welcome, Joke! We heartly congratulate Wiebke and Sebastian, as their son was born
on the 25th of May - and wish the little family all the best!

Coppiced woods – traditional socio-ecological systems with a high biodiversity value

Photos

Birch stands recently cut for firewood
© Johannes Kamp
  • Traditional signs mark areas cut by different village communities
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Birches ready to cut, recently cut and starting to resprout
    © Johannes Kamp
  • The orderly arranged twigs remain at the slopes
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Ca. 10 year old regrowth, dominated by common broom
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Ca. 20 year old coppice - typical is the higher number of stems per tree
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Speckled Yellow
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Very rare and now confined to few places in Germany: Argent & Sable
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Caterpillar of Ground Lackey...
    © Johannes Kamp
  • ...and its preferred grassy habitat.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Recording habitat parameters.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • The surveyed coppiced woods are a stronghold for the rare Ilex Hairstreak.
    © Johanna Trappe
  • Scarce Copper.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • - Seed trees in a savannah-like age class.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Heath fritillary - disappeared from most of Northern Germany, regular in coppiced woods.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Foxglove colours the slopes in summer.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • Fresh regrowth in June.
    © Johannes Kamp
  • © Johannes Kamo

The biodiversity of open landscapes has been declining strongly over the past decades in Central Europe. Agricultural intensification and farmland abandonment are among the most prominent reasons behind this. Changes in forest management are now surfacing as an additional cause: a transition from light, open forests to tall, dense stands with a cooler microclimate has resulted in population losses of many open-habitat plants and animals during the past decades.

The management of forests with a short cutting cycle, such as coppiced woods, has ceased now over most of Central Europe. To document the value of this rather sustainable forest management for biodiversity, two BSc-students of our group are currently quantifying the abundance and distribution of birds, butterflies and moths in one of the few remaining large areas of coppiced woods in Germany, the ‘Hauberge’ near Haiger in the state of Hesse. A contiguous area of 1,800 ha oak-birch-forest is managed there by village communities in a very traditional way, mostly for firewood. Stands are cut down patchily at an age of 18-20 years, which results in a rich mosaic of forest regrowth of young age classes. First results suggest that the area is of outstanding importance for long distance migrants, a group of birds that has declined strongly. The forests also appear to be the last strongholds of a number of butterflies and moths in Western Germany.

For more information contact Johannes Kamp.

© Johannes Kamp

Citizen science online databases – how useful are they for monitoring population trends?

Monitoring of animal and plant population trends is important to identify declining species that can then be prioritized for conservation actions. Standardized, country-wide monitoring schemes are expensive, and need a large number of skilled volunteers to participate. However, with the advent of mobile technology, more and more people report casual observations of birds and other taxa online. Databases such as ‘ornitho’ or ‘eBird’ already store millions of records. The huge potential of these repositories for research and conservation has been recognized repeatedly, e.g. for explaining climate-change related phenology shifts or changes in the routes of migratory animals. If the mass of of ‘citizen scientists’ records is also useful to understand whether populations are increasing or decreasing was however unclear.

Using a country-wide database for birds, Johannes Kamp and colleagues from the RSPB and the Danish BirdLife partner DOF examined if bird population trends derived from online recording matched those from a more standardized monitoring scheme. In a recent paper in Diversity & Distributions [doi: 10.1111/ddi.12463/full], they report that declines in many bird species detected by standardized monitoring were not picked up by the unstructured online databases, suggesting that the latter are no easy substitute for cost-intensive structured monitoring. This is most likely explained by observer behaviour – encouraging birdwatchers to report all species in an area (and not only rare or interesting ones) will increase the usefulness of the data for many research questions.

© Ika Djukic

The Tea Decomposition Project - It´s Tea Time!

Since beginning of June the ILÖK takes part in the worldwide project "TeaComposition". This project is led by the Ecosystem Research and Environmental Information Management Working Group of the Federal Environment Agency in Vienna, and aims at analysing long term litter decomposition dynamics in different habitat types.

Main focus will be the assessment of carbon losses and storage in litter and their key drivers under recent and predicted climatic scenarios worldwide. The instalation of tea bags as well as the subsequent analyses will be performed in cooperation of the working groups Soil Ecology and Land use and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research within the Biodiversity Exploratories.

Two successful doctorates at once!

We congratulate our PhD students Kristin Gilhaus and Immo Kämpf to their successful thesis defenses. At the same day as Elisa Fleischer (Climatology group) they defended their theses with the titles “Grassland management by year-round grazing – opportunities and constraints“ and “Effects of Land-use Change on Agroecosystems of Western Siberia”.

University newspaper reports on urban ecological research

The current issue of the wissen|leben (Issue 2, April 2016 (German); german article here), the official newspaper of WWU Münster, reports on biodiversity research by Valentin H. Klaus and his students. In various bachelor and master theses, the researchers assessed plant diversity and environmental conditions in parks and urban grasslands in Münster. Additionally, at the lake Aasee, experimental plots were installed to floristically enrich the established grassland vegetation (Publication in the Project "Urban Ecological Research").

Fieldteams of the projects STOICHIO and ESCAPE of the Biodiversity-Exploratories will take off for their last field season of the current project phase.

Both teams will conduct vegetation relevés and collect biomass samples on grassland plots in the National Park Hainich-Dün (Thuringia) and its surroundings. During this field work phase we will complete data sets regarding nutrient stoichiometry, biodiversity, productivity, disturbance and resilience of grasslands along a land use gradient.

New edition of the "Davert Depesche+"

Recently and within the project "Fit for Climate Change", the new edition of the "Davert Depesche+" brochure has been released. The University's role as scientific supervisor of the project is displayed vividly, a spring flower is presented and to "natural scientists" are being portrayed.

This edition also counts with the second quartal's programme and is completed by a searching game for children. The brochure is released quarterly and is on display in many locations in the South of Münster and in the Institute for Landscape Ecology. Additionally, a german version may be downloaded here.

© TUM/ Gossner

Asynchrony plays a greater role in stability than diversity alone

The stability of animal or plant communities under consideration of external factors does not only depend on biodiversity. Most influencing factor is the asynchrony of populations: the greater the temporal variation of the development of different species within one ecosystem, the higher its stability. These results were obtained by scientists of our groupunder the leadership of colleagues of the TU München and the TU Darmstadt and have now been published in "Nature Communications". Press releases with more more graphics from our colleagues from Munic and Darmstadt.

Taking stock at the end of the year

Today’s research projects are usually highly collaborative – this is why we need to bring people from the networks together regularly to review progress and plan future work. In November, we hosted annual and strategic meetings of three projects, SASCHA and BALTRAK (dealing with sustainable land use in Siberia and Kazakhstan), and ESCAPE (Biodiversity Exploratories). The inspiring atmosphere of these gatherings also often sparks new ideas and follow-up research.

Our staff presents research results on conferences

Photos

© Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University
  • © Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University

This year, the staff of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group presented the results of numerous studies, very often conducted with the active participation of students, on seven different scientific conferences. A total of eleven talks and two posters were presented. The diverse topics ranged from restoration ecology and ornithology to vegetation science and nutrient cycles. Attendance at these conferences facilitates scientific exchange with colleagues, amplifies collaboration with other  institutions and helps to communicate results, for example to practitioners.

Wet forests south of Münster as carbon sinks

With the last, recently completed soil profiles in the Davert and the soil samples already taken in spring, we now have enough data to calculate the soil carbon stocks within the project “Fit for Climate Change”. more

Students investigate effects of climate change on grasslands

Photos

© Valentin Klaus
  • © Valentin Klaus
  • © Valentin Klaus
  • © Valentin Klaus
  • © Valentin Klaus
  • © Valentin Klaus

An ongoing experiment with mesocosms aims to evaluate the effects of agricultural fertilization on grasslands under drought stress, accompanying the field research of the ESCAPE-project within the “Biodiversity Exploratories” framework. Mesocosms are pieces of natural ecosystems relocated to a lab or green house, in this case sods of meadows and pastures of the Swabian Alps. The sods were cut out 20 cm deep, transported to Münster and transplanted into special containers in a green house.

Since periods of prolonged drought are expected to become more frequent in the future, the sods are not only fertilized with slurry but also subjected to drought stress. Changes in nutrient cycling are meanwhile closely monitored. The results may help to develop adapted management strategies for these agricultural grasslands. Five students measuring for example stable isotope abundances and gas fluxes are involved in this experiment. First results are expected at the end of 2015.

Back from Siberia!

In a joint field-trip with our partner in the SASCHA project, the Tyumen State University, we brought 26 students from Tyumen and Münster to explore the vast landscapes of Western Siberia. Over 14 days we followed a 1000 km long gradient through different ecozones from the meadow steppes near the Kazakh border to the boreal forests and raised bogs of the Russian Taiga. More impressions on the SASCHA Blog and in this video, made by Russian students.

Waterbird counts in Central Asia

Photos

© Christian Härting / Benjamin Ullrich
  • © Christian Härting / Benjamin Ullrich
  • © Christian Härting / Benjamin Ullrich
  • © Christian Härting / Benjamin Ullrich
  • © Christian Härting / Benjamin Ullrich

In a collaboration with Holger Schielzeth at the University of Bielefeld and our partner ACBK, two students of the Ecosystem Research Group have been counting waterbirds in the Lake Tengiz area, Central Kazakhstan, since April. Lake Tengiz is perhaps the most important wetland for waterbirds on the Siberian-Central-Asian flyway, comparable to the German Wadden Sea.
The aim of the project is to repeat extensive surveys conducted between 1998 and 2004 in order to learn more about population trends and identify declining species. The results from these earlier surveys are available here and here.

Butterfly bonanza in Siberia

In the fourth year of the BMBF-funded SASCHA-project, we now focus on data analysis, paper writing, and the implementation of the project results. However, a number of data gaps are still to be filled in the field. Two motivated BSc students are currently in Tyumen, Western Siberia, to count butterflies along standardized transects. Contrary to common belief, it's not freezing cold all year round in Siberia - sunny days and temperatures around 30°C result in high butterfly activity, but also challenging mosquito densities...
The richness and abundance of butterflies is stunning in the area - many species thrive that are now on the brink of extinction in Central Europe. As the area is at the border of several zoogeographical regions, dry steppe species and Taiga endemics meet. More in the SASCHA-Blog

Dramatic declines in Yellow-breasted Bunting populations

Once one of the most abundant birds across vast areas of Eurasia, the Yellow-breasted Bunting has declined by 90% since 1980, and its range contracted eastward by 5000 km. These are the main findings of a new study published in Conservation Biology by an international team of researchers, led by Johannes Kamp of the Ecosystem and Biodiversity research group.
The main reason for the population crash seems to be excessive illegal trapping and consumption in China, where the birds used to stop over on their migration to the wintering grounds in South East Asia.

News project CANDYbog

Photos

© Wiebke Münchberger
  • © Isabella Närdemann
  • © Claudia Frank
  • © Wiebke Münchberger
  • © Bettina Breuer
  • © Wiebke Münchberger

Summer is over on the southern Hemisphere and your colleages from the “CANDYbog” project are back form their four-month stay in Tierra del Fuego. The intense measuring campaign focused this year on the CO2 and CH4 gas fluxes between bogs and the atmosphere to gain insights into the ecosystems’ carbon fluxes.

Furthermore, they collected pore water samples to determine gas concentrations in the peat and to understand underlying biogeochemical processes controlling the gas fluxes. Additional to the first field season in 2013/2014, more peat cores were extracted to determine long-term carbon accumulation rates. The continued shading and fertilizing experiments showed first results, rising hope for next years’ analysis. With the sampling of biomass and peat effects of shading, increased nitrogen and sea spray deposition will be evaluated on Sphagnum- and cushion plant-dominated bogs.

© Valentin Klaus

Like every year in May, our colleagues from the Biodiversity Exploratories trawl the grasslands of the three landscapes in Germany with magnifiers and scissors to collect vegetation data and take samples for lab analyses. Fieldwork is actively supported by student assistants.

The analysis of the SADE experiment from the ESCAPE project needs a lot of time and dedication, since plant seedlings have to be identified to species level. Following tilling of the sample plots last autumn, seeds of regional provenance were used to increase plant diversity on pastures and meadows. This will allow us to study the effects of species enrichment on different ecosystem functions.

The collection of individual plant species is also central to the project STOICHIO, where nutrient concentrations are measured. This year, the focus is set on the spatial variation of nutrient stoichiometry within plots of uniform land use.

Two central asian projects launched

Researchers of the WWU from the department of Geoscience were granted funding from the Volkswagen-Stiftung for two new projects in central Asia. With GPS they will analyze the consequences of land-use change and extreme weather conditions on people. Herders coping with hazards in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia

DBU grant for research on establishment of hummock peat mosses in rewetted cutover bogs

From January 2015 on, the working groups Hydrology and Ecosystem Research from ILÖK together with the project partners Gramoflor and Stiftung Lebensraum Moor can conduct their research on the establishment of hummock peat mosses in rewetted cutover bogs with financial support from Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU).
more about the project

New Volkswagen grant boosts research in Kazakhstan

We are very pleased that the Vokswagen Foundation will fund a new 3-year-project in Kazakhstan headed up by the Working Group Ecosystem Research. Together with our Kazakhstani partners at the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan (ACBK) and Karaganda university, as well as German partners at HU Berlin and IAMO Halle we will implement a three-year research project entitled ‘Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan (BALTRAK)’. Within the project, we will analyze agricultural and restoration potentials on abandoned arable land, the distribution of key steppe grassland biodiversity (small mammals, birds and plants), and biodiversity responses to changing agricultural use and wildfires. Ultimately, we aim to develop strategies to reconcile agriculture and biodiversity, and contribute to the development of protected areas in Central Asia. Contact: Johannes Kamp
project homepage