Environmental and organismic interactions
The occurrence and abundance of organisms is determined by multiple interactions between species and with the abiotic components of an ecosystem. In the focal area Environmental and organismic interactions the principle ecological and evolutionary mechanisms are studied that determine the traits of species and lead to the diversity of species and interactions in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The involved research groups use experimental, empirical and theoretical approaches at multiple spatial, temporal and organizational scales. A further more applied focus of interest are the consequences of climate change, habitat fragmentation, human land use and invasive species on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Research groups of this focal area are associated with the DFG collaborative research center (SFB 1047, Insect timing: mechanisms, plasticity and interactions), the DFG research unit FOR 1246 (Kilimanjaro ecosystems under global changes: Linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical ecosystem processes) and several EU-Projects dealing with the management of conservation areas (Scales), environmental risks of genetically modified plants (Amiga) and pollination and biological pest control in agroecosystems (STEP and Liberation).