The Department of Ecology was founded in 1993 and is part of the Institute of Environmental Sciences in Faculty 2 Environment and Natural Sciences at BTU.
Research at the Department focuses on the impact of anthropogenic (climate and land-use change) and natural disturbances (wildfires) on biodiversity, biotic interactions and ecosystem processes in natural, forest and agricultural ecosystems. Major research areas are the provision of ecosystem services, predator-prey interactions, litter decomposition by soil fauna and biodiversity conservation with a focus on terrestrial invertebrates.
Teaching at the Department focuses on Bachelor, Master and PhD courses in the international study program "Environmental and Resource Management" and the German language programs "Umweltingenieurwesen" and "Landnutzung und Wasserbewirtschaftung". The content of courses focuses on teaching basic knowledge in ecology and biology (ecology: ecosystems, biotic interactions & nature conservation; biology: soil biology, forensics & parasitology).
- de la Riva EG, ... , Villar R.(2021). Root economics spectrum and construction costs in Mediterranean woody plants: the role of symbiotic associations and the environment. Journal of Ecology 109: 1873-1885.
- Michalko R, Birkhofer K, Pekár S (accepted) Interaction between hunting strategy, habitat type and stratum drive intraguild predation and cannibalism. Oikos
- Fotang C, Bröring U, … Birkhofer K (2021) Environmental and anthropogenic effects on the nesting patterns of Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees in Northwest Cameroon. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.23312
- Arvidsson F*, Feng L*, Smith HG, Birkhofer K (2021) Fallows conserve the taxonomic and functional diversity of soil-emerging carabid beetles and ground-active linyphiid spiders in agricultural landscapes. Insect Conservation & Diversity. DOI:10.1111/icad.12520 (*shared first authors)
- Preußer D, Bröring U, Fischer T, Juretzek T. (2021). Effects of antibiotics ceftriaxone and levofloxacin on the growth of Calliphora vomitoria L.(Diptera: Calliphoridae) and effects on the determination of the post mortem-interval. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 102207.
- Zarzosa PS, ..., de la Riva EG, ..., Villar, R. (2021). Linking functional traits with tree growth and forest productivity in Quercus ilex forests along a climatic gradient. Science of The Total Environment, 786, 147468.
- Meyer S, Kundel D, Birkhofer K, Fleissbach A, Scheu S (2021) Soil microarthropods respond differently to simulated drought in organic and conventional farming systems. Ecology and Evolution 11: 10369-10380
- Kozjek K, …, Birkhofer K, Hedlund K (2021) Long-term agricultural management impacts arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi more than short-term experimental drought. Applied Soil Ecology 168: 104140
- Michalko R, Košulič O, Martinek P, Birkhofer K (2021) Disturbance by invasive pathogenic fungus alters arthropod predator – prey food webs in ash plantations. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 0.1111/1365-2656.13537
- Shackelford N, ..., de la Riva EG, ..., Suding KL (2021). Drivers of seedling establishment success in dryland restoration efforts. Nature ecology & evolution, 1-8.
- Leimer S, Berner D, Birkhofer K, … Wilcke W (2021) Land-use intensity and biodiversity effects on infiltration rates and hydraulic conductivity of grassland soils in southern Germany. Ecohydrology e2301
- Le Provost G, …, Birkhofer K, …., Manning P (2021) Contrasting impacts of land-use intensification on above- and belowground diversity. Nature Communications 12, 3918
- Damptey FG, Garcia de La Riva E, Birkhofer K (2021) Trade-offs and synergies between food and fodder production and other ecosystem services in an actively restored forest in Ghana. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4: 630959.
- Phililips H, ..., Birkhofer K, ..., Eisnehauer N (2021) Global data on earthworm abundance, biomass, diversity and corresponding soil properties. Scientific Data 8:136
- Fotang C, Bröring U, …, Birkhofer K (2021) Human activity and forest fragmentation threaten populations of the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) in Western Cameroon. International Journal of Primatology 42: 105-129
- Němec T, Líznarová E, Birkhofer K, Horsák M (2021) Stable isotope analysis as a method to investigate land-snail food partitioning: a case study from Central European floodplain forest. Journal of Zoology 313: 297-306
- Michalko, R, Birkhofer, K (2021) Habitat niches suggest that non-crop habitat types differ in quality as source habitats for Central European agrobiont spiders. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment 308: 107248
- Mathulwe LL, Jacobs K, Malan AP, Birkhofer K, Addison MF & Addison P (2021). Characterisation of Metarhizium majus (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) isolated from the Western Cape Province, South Africa. PloS one 16: e0240955
- Paniw, M., de la Riva, E. G., & Lloret, F. (2021). Demographic traits improve predictions of spatiotemporal changes in community resilience to drought. Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13597
- Díaz, J. G., de la Riva, E., Funk, J. L., & Vilà, M. (2021). Functional segregation of resource-use strategies of native and invasive plants across Mediterranean biome communities. Biological Invasions 23: 253-266.