My PhD project forms part of the Collaborative Research Centre 990 ?Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)?. I am working in subproject B13 "Impact of management intensity and tree enrichment of oil palm plantations on below- and aboveground invertebrates in Sumatra (Indonesia)".

Short description of research activities in CRC 990:

The effects of conversion of tropical rainforests into oil palm plantations have barely been studied and this applies in particular to above- and belowground animals and communities. Therefore, in this subproject, the effect of 1) different management intensities of oil palm plantations and 2) enrichment of oil palm plantations with other tree species is investigated. Aboveground invertebrate and microbial communities as well as belowground invertebrate communities are analyzed. Above- and belowground communities will be determined to the highest taxonomic level possible. The focus of belowground communities will be oribatid mites and collembolans. Changes in trophic relationships are analyzed using natural variations in stable isotope ratios in below- and aboveground invertebrate species. Microbial communities will be analyzed using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PFLA).


Darras K, Corre M D, Formaglio G, Tjoa A, Potapov A, Brambach F, Sibhatu K T, Grass I, Tscharntke T, Rubiano A A, Buchori D, Drescher J, Fardiansah R, Hölscher D, Irawan B, Kneib T, Krashevska V, Krause A, Kreft H, i K, Maraun M, Polle A, Ryadin A R, Rembold K, Scheu S, Tarigan S, Valdés-Uribe A, Yadi S and Veldkamp E. (2019). Reducing fertilizer and avoiding herbicides in oil palm plantations-ecological and economic valuations. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2, 65.

Krause A, Sandmann D, Bluhm S L, Ermilov S, Widyastuti R, Farikhah Haneda N, Scheu S, Maraun M (2019). Shift in trophic niches of soil microarthropods with conversion of tropical rainforest into plantations as indicated by stable isotopes (15N, 13C). PLoS ONE 14(10): e0224520.

Pachl P, Lindl A, Krause A, Scheu S, Schaefer I, Maraun M (2017). The tropics as an ancient cradle of oribatid mite diversity. Acarologia 57, 309-322

Krause A, Pachl P, Schulz G, Lehmitz R, Seniczak A, Schaefer I, Scheu S, Maraun M (2016) Convergent evolution of aquatic life by sexual and oribatid mites.
Exp Appl Acar 70, 439-453.