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Regional differences in bird diversity in agroforestry systems

The diversity and ecological functionality of bird communities in tropical agroforestry systems are shaped by the surrounding landscape. An international research team led by Göttingen University investigated the composition and ecological traits of bird communities in 23 cacao agroforestry systems in Peru. The scientists found very different results depending on the region, and therefore emphasise the importance of tailoring agroforestry management strategies accordingly. more…


Tropical forest resilience to seasonal drought linked to nutrient availability

Tropical forests are highly productive ecosystems accounting for nearly half of the global forest carbon sink. If tropical forests can no longer remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the effects of climate change may become even more severe. In recent times, these forests have been found to be increasingly limited in nutrients, which may affect their resilience to seasonal droughts and the rate at which they can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To investigate, researchers set up Africa’s first largescale nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium addition experiment in the Budongo Forest of Uganda. more…


Evolutionary genomics: consequences of biodiverse reproductive systems

A new Research Training Group (RTG) in Biology at the University of Göttingen has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The RTG, entitled "Evolutionary Genomics: Consequences of Biodiverse Reproductive Systems (EvoReSt)", benefits from an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the evolution of genomes in organisms which use different forms of reproduction from the entire "Tree of Life". more…


Genomes of “star algae” shed light on origin of plants

Land plants cover the surface of our planet and often tower over us. Developing their morphological complexity is underpinned by intricate networks of genes. Among those algae most closely related to land plants, diverse body types are found – from single-celled algae to complex cell filaments. From this group of relatives, researchers have now generated the first genome data of such complex specimens, on four filamentous “star algae” of the genus Zygnema. Their results appeared in Nature Genetics. more…


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Young Scientist Award for Professor Viola Priesemann

During this year's spring conference of the German Physical Society (DPG), Professor Viola Priesemann received the Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics. The physicist conducts research at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the University of Göttingen. The prize is endowed with 7,500 euros and honors her work on propagation processes in complex systems. more…

Long-period oscillations control the Sun’s differential rotation

The interior of the Sun does not rotate at the same rate at all latitudes. The physical origin of this differential rotation is not fully understood. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research discovered, that the long-period solar oscillations play a crucial role in controlling the Sun’s rotational pattern. more…

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