The Department of Ecology was founded in 1993 and is part of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Technology in Faculty 2 Environment and Natural Sciences at BTU.
Research at the Department focuses on the impact of anthropogenic (e.g. climate and land-use change) and natural disturbances (e.g. 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).
- Ulrich W,...Bucher R, de la Riva, EG... Birkhofer K (accepted) From biodiversity to health: quantifying the impact of diverse ecosystems on human well-being. People and Nature
- Galán Díaz J, Vilà M, Parker IM, & de la Riva, EG (2022) Functional assembly of grassland plant species in native communities in Spain and recipient communities in California. Journal of Ecology
- Arvidsson F, Montes MS, Birkhofer K (2022) Microhabitat conditions affect web-building spider communities and their prey in a temperate forest independent of effects of wildlife fencing on vegetation. Journal of Arachnology 50: 308-313
- Raab T,... Birkhofer K, et al. (2022) Do small landforms have large effects? The legacies of pre-industrial charcoal burning. Geomorphology 413: 108332
- Damptey, FG, Frimpong BF, Debrah DK, Agro PP, Wiafe ED (2022) Vegetation attributes drive the taxonomic richness and functional composition of beetles and spiders in mountainous urban green spaces. Energy, Ecology and Environment 7, 268-280
- Khum W, Kosulic O, Birkhofer K, Michalko R (2022) The invasive pathogenic fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus alters predator-herbivore-ash food webs. Biological Invasions
- Feng L, Eisenschmitt J, Lysakowski B, Birkhofer K (2022) The impact of wildfire and mammal carcasses on beetle emergence from heathland soils. Ecological Entomology
- Birkhofer K, Baulechner D, Diekötter T, Zaitsev A, Wolters V (2022) Fertilization rapidly alters the feeding activity of grassland soil mesofauna independent of management history. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10:864470
- Tsyganov AN, ..., Wanner M, ... Mazei YA (2022) Distribution of soil testate amoeba assemblages along an elevation gradient on Mount Fuji (Japan). European Journal of Protistology 84, 125894.
- Bentsi-Enchill F, Damptey FG, ..., Akotoye HK (2022) Impact of anthropogenic disturbance on tree species diversity, vegetation structure and carbon storage potential in an upland evergreen forest of Ghana, West Africa. Trees, Forests and People 8, 100238
- Hecker L, Wätzold F, Yang X, Birkhofer K (2022) Squeeze it or leave it? An ecological-economic assessment of the impact of mower conditioners on arthropod populations in grassland. Journal of Insect Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10841-022-00392-5
- Menares E (2022) Tara Ivanochko: Think, do, and communicate environmental science. Community Ecology 23, 263
- Birkhofer K, Djoudi E-A, Schnerch B, Michalko R (2022) Climatic conditions and functional traits affect spider diets in agricultural and non-agricultural habitats worldwide. Ecography 3: e06090
- Hecker LP, Birkhofer K, Yang X, Querhammer L, Wätzold F (2022) Insektenverluste durch den Einsatz von Konditionierern bei der Behandlung von Mähgut – ökologische und ökonomische Aspekte [Insect losses due to the use of conditioners in the treatment of mowed material – Ecological and economic aspects]. Natur und Landschaft 97: 78-84.
- Michalko R, Birkhofer K, Pekár S (2021) Interaction between hunting strategy, habitat type and stratum drive intraguild predation and cannibalism. Oikos 3: e08662
- Damptey FG, Birkhofer K, Oliveras Menor I & de la Riva EG (2022) The functional structure of tropical plant communities and soil properties enhance ecosystem functioning and multifunctionality in different ecosystems in Ghana. Forests 13: 297
- Müller J,... Birkhofer K,..., Seibold S. (2022) A replicated study on the response of spider assemblages to regional and local processes. Ecological Monographs e1511
- Heitmann N, Glemnitz M, Birkhofer K, Müller MEH (2022) Unselective transport of phytopathogenic Fusarium fungi from litter and soil by ground-dwelling arthropods links semi-natural and agricultural habitats. Microorganisms 10, 335
- Sikorski J, Baumgartner V, Birkhofer K et al. (2022) The evolution of ecological diversity in Acidobacteria. Frontiers in Microbiology 13: 715637
- Potapov A, Beaulieu F, Birkhofer K et al. (2022) Feeding habits and multifunctional classification of soil-associated consumers from protists to vertebrates. Biological Reviews
- Meyer S, Kundel D, Birkhofer K, Fliessbach A, Scheu S. (2022) Trophic niche but not abundance of Collembola and Oribatida changes with drought and farming system. PeerJ 10:e1277
- Damptey FG, ... Opuni-Frimpong E (2022) Citizen Science Approach for Assessing the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Potential of Urban Green Spaces in Ghana. Land 11, 1774
- Damptey FG, ..., Schnerch B, ... Korjus H (2022) Taxonomic and community composition of epigeal arthropods in monoculture and mixed tree species plantations in a deciduous forest of Ghana. Journal of Forestry Research, 1-13.