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Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology

Press release

Please do not disturb: After forest fires, bark beetle infestations and other damage, the affected forests should not be cleared. Researchers report this in the journal Nature Communications.

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An oak forest in Lower Franconia has caused a small sensation in zoology: A moth was discovered there that was considered extinct.

 

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Honeybees use their waggle dance to tell their conspecifics where to find food. Depending on the honeybee species, there are different dance dialects, as a German-Indian research team has shown.

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Life in Dead Wood

02/10/2020

Dead wood plays an important role for biodiversity in forests. The Ecological Station of the University of Würzburg and the Forest Enterprise Ebrach conduct a joint research project on this topic that has been recently granted with 500,000 euros.

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The forests in Europe provide habitat for around 80,000 colonies of wild honeybees. That is why more attention should be paid to preserving the nesting sites for these threatened insects, according to researchers.

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If ecosystems are disturbed, this can trigger the extinction of species. For her research in this field, the journal Ecography awards biologist Ludmilla Figueiredo with a prize.

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Weltweit oft zitiert (oben v.l.): Hermann Einsele, Rainer Hedrich, Andreas Rosenwald, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Hans Konrad Müller-Hermelink. Unten v.l.: Jörg Vogel, Frank Würthner, Laurens Molenkamp und Christoph Wanner.

Their work is most frequently cited in publications of other scientists. Eight researchers from the University of Würzburg have therefore been added to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 List

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With freely available radar data from satellites, biodiversity in forests can be analysed very well. In Nature Communications, researchers report that biodiversity even of tiny insects can be reliably modelled from space.

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Around 20 percent of the world's agricultural areas yields less than it did 20 years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, humans are the culprit: we have not done enough to protect biodiversity.

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Removing dead trees from the forests and reforesting on a large scale: this is the German Federal Government's strategy against "Forest Dieback 2.0". Ecologists from the University of Würzburg call for other solutions.

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More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone. They are also threatened. Scientists from Würzburg demand more research on the ecology of these insects.

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Three examples of the animal species filmed at Kilimanjaro (from left): an Abbott’s duiker, a blue monkey and a black serval.

Numerous large mammals have been documented with video traps on Mount Kilimanjaro by a research group of Würzburg University. The protected areas of the mountain are of tremendous importance for the biodiversity of this animal group.

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Stories of mass poisoning incidents of livestock due to toxic grasses made headlines especially overseas. Animal ecologists from Würzburg have studied whether this hazard is also lurking on German pastures.

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Global warming can disrupt the mutualistic interactions of plants and pollinators as in the case of the European orchard bee, the red mason bee and the pasque flower.

Plants rely on bees for pollination; bees need plants to supply nectar and pollen. Scientists from the University of Würzburg have studied how climate change affects these mutualistic interactions.

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