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Ecological Genetics

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Head: Dr. Martina Peter

We study ecological processes in populations of plants, mycorrhizal fungi and animals with molecular-genetic methods and supplement them with experimental approaches. We mainly investigate species that are relevant for Switzerland owing to their function in ecosystems, their distributional focus or their conservation status. We describe how plants of the Alpine region evolve to adapt to changing environmental conditions (adaptation). As important symbiosis partners of our forest trees, we investigate mycorrhizal fungi, their adaptation to tree partners and local conditions, and their significance for the stability of forest ecosystems in a changing environment. We study how landscape features impact the dispersal and connectivity of organisms and their populations and how land use affects rare plant and animal species (conservation genetics).