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Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology

Press release

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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Bark beetles are currently responsible for killing an unprecedented number of trees in forests across Europe and North America. Researchers are therefore urging to step up research into bark beetles – also in view of climate change.

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Diversity beats monotony: a colourful patchwork of small, differently used plots can bring advantages to agriculture and nature. This is the result of a new study by the University of Würzburg.

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Their scientific papers are among the most frequently cited by researchers worldwide. Six researchers of the University of Würzburg have therefore been added to the Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List.

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Stopping bee extinction is a goal of scientists. Researches under the leadership of the University of Würzburg have discovered that a diversified plant environment helps bees in maintaining stable populations.

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A butterfly (pale clouded yellow, Colias hyale) on a chalk heath in Lower Franconia. This habitat with its species-rich insect communities is at a special risk in Bavaria because of the nitrogen input. (Photo: Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter)

How does climate change affect biodiversity and ecosystem performance in Bavaria? Which strategies can counteract the impacts? The new Bavarian research alliance "LandKlif" seeks to answer these questions.

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The ground beetle Copper Greenclock (Poecilus cupreus). (photo: Fabian Bötzl)

A high abundance of flowering grasslands in agricultural landscapes is beneficial: These grasslands provide shelter for predatory beetles and spiders and help farmers control pests.

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Ants do not always take the shortest route when they are in a hurry. Their navigational system occasionally makes them take detours to speed up their journey.

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The effects of climate change are felt especially in the Alps. How capable are insects, which are important pollinators, of adjusting to this development? A new junior research group is looking into this question.

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