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Subproject 1

Our primary goal within Task 1 (PI Hovestadt) is to learn more about the principal mechanisms which lead to the establishment of certain diversity patterns. To achieve this we will use different theoretical and modelling approaches to test the plausibility and generality of alternative explanatory approaches. As a reference and null-model we will use Hubbel’s “neutral theory”. However, we will analyse the predictions of this theory for non-equilibrium conditions and expand it to apply to heterogeneous landscapes (forgoing the neutrality assumption). With the latter modification we also develop instruments to model the link between diversity and ecosystem function about which Hubbell’s theory does not make any predictions.


1. The correlation in diversity across different, non-interacting functional groups depends on the similarity in fundamental life-history attributes like life-expectancy, fertility, dispersal potential, resistance against disturbance, or specialization.

2. Diversity patterns and correlations of them across different functional groups are distinctly different in equilibrium and non-equilibrium phases, e.g. following habitat disturbances, landscape alternations, or during the invasion of new species.

3. Landscapes showing fine-grained habitat diversity are characterized by high alpha- but low beta- diversity and will be dominated by habitat generalists. Ecosystem functions will not be provided at optimum (maximum) level. Opposing predictions can be made for landscapes dominated by coarse grained habitat diversity.


Subproject 2: Towards a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity and its functional consequences – the Biodiversity Exploratory additional modeling component

We seek to develop, test and apply novel grid-based mechanistic process models to simulate changes in plant functional trait (PFT) diversity in grassland succession in a regional context of land-use diversity. A bottom-up approach will be used to link mechanisms and processes acting at a local scale to the regional/landscape level.


Task 2 proceeds in three steps: In task 2.1, the small-scale, individual based, spatially-explicit PFT grassland model will be developed. In task 2.2, the model will be further developed into a patch-level state-and-transition grassland model. Finally, in task 2.3, the model will be linked with a landscape model, which provides the basis to further scale up to the regional level.

Subproject 3: Forest diversity and functioning in response to management and herbivory

PIs Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth, Dr. Markus Reichstein


Doc
Ein verbesserter Algorithmus zur Erzeugung von dynamischen neutralen Landschaften durch Spektralsynthese
Chipperfield J. D., Dytham C., Hovestadt T. (2011): An updated algorithm for the generation of dynamic neutral landscapes by spectral synthesis. PLOS One 6(2), e17040. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017040
More information:  doi.org
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Approximationsverfahren zur Anwendung kontinuierlicher Ausbreitungsfunktionen in räumlich diskreten Modellen
Chipperfield J. D., Holland E. P., Dytham C., Thomas C. D., Hovestadt T. (2011): A note on the approximation of continuous dispersal kernels in discrete-space models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2(6), 668–681. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00117.x
More information:  doi.org
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Gerstenlauer J. L. K. (2012): Life-history strategies of perennial grassland plants: bet-hedging in time and metapopulation viability in fragmented landscapes. Dissertation, University Jena
More information:  www.db-thueringen.de
Doc
Regeneration und Etablierung von sechs mitteleuropäischen Laubbaumarten in einem „naturnahen“ Kalkbuchenwald im Nationalpark Hainich/ Thüringen
Guse T.(2009): Regeneration und Etablierung von sechs mitteleuropäischen Laubbaumarten in einem „naturnahen“ Kalkbuchenwald im Nationalpark Hainich/ Thüringen. Thesis, University Jena
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Pathways of tree diversity effects on forest dynamics – combining empirical analysis and mechanistic modelling
Holzwarth F. M. (2016): Pathways of tree diversity effects on forest dynamics – combining empirical analysis and mechanistic modelling. Dissertation, University Leipzig
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Entwirrung der Effekte der funktionellen Diversität auf Ökosystemfunktionen mithilfe eines hierarchischen Modells
Holzwarth F., Rüger N., Wirth C. (2015): Taking a closer look: disentangling effects of functional diversity on ecosystem functions with a trait-based model across hierarchy and time. Royal Society Open Science 2:140541. doi: 10.1098/rsos.140541
More information:  doi.org
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Viele Möglichkeiten zu Tode zu kommen – Aufteilung der Mortalitätsdynamiken in einem naturnahen, gemischten Laubwald
Holzwarth, F., Kahl A., Bauhus J., Wirth C. (2013): Many ways to die – partitioning tree mortality dynamics in a near-natural mixed deciduous forest. Journal of Ecology 101 (1), 220–230. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12015
More information:  doi.org
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SpatialDemography: ein räumlich explizites, stufen-strukturiertes, Metagemeinschaftsmodell
Keyel A. C., Gerstenlauer J. L. K., Wiegand K. (2016): SpatialDemography: a spatially explicit, stage-structured, metacommunity model. Ecography 39 (11), 1129–1137. doi: 10.1111/ecog.02295
More information:  doi.org
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Validierung der Verwendung einzigartiger Merkmalskombinationen zur Messung des multivariaten funktionellen Reichtums
Keyel A. C., Wiegand K. (2016): Validating the use of unique trait combinations for measuring multivariate functional richness. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7 (8), 929–936. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12558
More information:  doi.org
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May F. (2008): Modelling coexistence of plant functional types in grassland communities- the role of above- and below-ground competition. Thesis, University Potsdam
More information:  www.ufz.de
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Understanding the emergence and maintenance of biodiversity in grasslands: linking individual plant responses to community patterns
Weiß L. (2017): Understanding the emergence and maintenance of biodiversity in grasslands: linking individual plant responses to community patterns. Dissertation, University Potsdam
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Die Reaktion simulierter Grasland-Gemeinschaften auf Beweidungsaufgabe
Weiss L., Jeltsch F. (2015): The response of simulated grassland communities to the cessation of grazing. Ecological Modelling 303, 1–11. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.02.002
More information:  doi.org
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Diversitätsmuster beweideter Grasländer weisen auf die Isolation halbnatürlicher europäischer Graslandpflanzengemeinschaften hin
Weiss L., Pfestorf H., May F., Körner K., Boch S., Fischer M., Müller J., Prati D., Socher S. A., Jeltsch F. (2014): Grazing response patterns indicate isolation of semi-natural European grasslands. Oikos 123 (5), 599–612. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00957.x
More information:  doi.org

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Wiegand
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Wiegand
Prof. Dr. Florian Jeltsch
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Florian Jeltsch
Universität Potsdam
PD Dr. Thomas Hovestadt
Employee
PD Dr. Thomas Hovestadt
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