Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

Plant-Animal Interactions

Head: PD Dr. Anita Risch

We are studying the distribution of and interactions among producers, consumers as well as decomposers and between these communities and their environment. We focus on food webs in real world ecosystems and thus mainly sample our data during experimental field campaigns. Data collection under controlled conditions in the greenhouse or experimental garden are, however, common add-ons hereby. We are mainly interested in the functioning of natural ecosystems and often conduct research in National Parks around the world. Our main study area is, however, the Swiss National Park. While working on basic research questions, we regularly consider applied aspects that are related to protecting or conserving endangered ecosystems.

Examples of research question of our research group assesses are:

How is species loss related to ecosystem processes and functions? Which species or species groups are particularly relevant for ecosystem functioning? Which effects are expected with the loss of such important species groups? How are aboveground organisms interacting with belowground organisms? Which abiotic and biotic conditions favor diverse ecosystems? Is global change (for example eutrophication, habitat fragmentation, climate) a thread for diverse ecosystems? How can diverse ecosystems be protected?

Projects

Staff

Plant-Animal Interactions

Anita Christina Risch

Member of Directors Board, Senior Scientist, Groupleader

Majid Ajorlo

Visiting scientist

Pia Anderwald

Visiting scientist

Emanuele Aucone

PhD student guest

Leonardo Capitani

Postdoc

Irene Cordero Herrera

Scientific staff member

Marco Fioratti

Postdoc

Christian Geckeler

PhD student guest

Luca Girardi

PhD student guest

Rye Gleason

Master student

Sophie Gombeer

Technical staff member

Sophia Heinrich

Master student

Steffen Kirchgeorg

PhD student guest

Xue Xian Lim

Master student

Itzel Lopez Montoya

PhD student guest

Gabriel Maquignaz

PhD student guest

Stefano Mintchev

Visiting scientist

Valentin Moser

PhD student

Jung Hwan Ro

Master student

Christian Rossi

Visiting scientist

Corinne Schlierenzauer

PhD student guest

Adam Seewald

Visiting scientist

Josef Senn

Visiting scientist

Rui Wu

Visiting scientist