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).
- Michalko R, Košulič O, Martinek P, Birkhofer K (accepted) Disturbance by invasive pathogenic fungus alters arthropod predator – prey food webs in ash plantations. Journal of Animal Ecology
- Leimer S et al. (accepted) Land-use intensity and biodiversity effects on infiltration rates and hydraulic conductivity of grassland soils in southern Germany. Ecohydrology
- Le Provost et al. (accepted) Contrasting impacts of land-use intensification on above- and belowground diversity. Nature Communications
- 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 et al (2021) Global data on earthworm abundance, biomass, diversity and corresponding soil properties. Scientific Data 8:136
- Fotang, C.,...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., Birkhofer, K. et al. (2021) Stable isotope analysis as a method to investigate land-snail food partitioning: a case study from Central European floodplain forest. Journal of Zoology
- 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, L. L., Jacobs, K., Malan, A. P., Birkhofer, K., Addison, M. F., & 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.
- 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.