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Ecological interactions

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All creatures interrelate with one another and with their environment. We examine the ecological interactions between various life forms, from microorganisms in the soil to large mammals, and relate these to ecosystem processes and services.

 

All creatures interrelate with one another and their environment through a wide variety of interactions. They may form symbiotic relationships with other creatures, and in doing so derive mutual benefit from the relationship (e.g. mycorrhiza and plants), compete with one another for food or habitat, or coexist in a predator-prey relationship.

We research the ecological interactions between various life forms, from microorganisms in the soil, to plants, insects and large mammals, and relate these to ecosystem services such as stability, nutrient cycles and nutrient storage.

Interactions between different species, for example between insects and plants, are determined by the characteristics of the species involved, such as the body size or behaviour of insects. We analyse how changes in land use, land use intensification and climate change affect the composition of species communities and thus the characteristics of the species involved. These modifications also change the interactions between species within the ecosystem. We examine the impacts of these changes on ecosystem processes, for example on biomass production or decomposition in the forest.

We supplement our findings with statistical models. These enable us, for example, to predict future interactions between plants and plant pests in a changed climate.

 

Topics

Natural predators of bark beetles

Bark beetles have three types of natural enemies: diseases, predators and parasites.

 

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