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Can organic plant protection products damage crops?

Protecting crops against pests and diseases is essential to ensure a secure food supply. Around 95 percent of food comes from conventional agriculture, which uses chemical pesticides to keep crops healthy. Increasingly, however, organic pesticides are also being sought as an alternative. Some organic pesticides contain live spores of the fungus Trichoderma, which have the ability to suppress other pathogens. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have now discovered that one Trichoderma species can cause severe rot in cobs of maize (corn). more…


Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income

Cocoa is in great demand on the world market, but there are many different ways to increase production. A research team from the University of Göttingen has now investigated the relative importance of the use of pesticides, fertilisers and manual pollination in a well replicated field trial in Indonesian agroforestry systems. The result: an increase in both cocoa yield and farming income was achieved – not by agrochemicals, but by manual pollination. more…


Broad beans versus soybeans as feedstuff for dual-purpose chickens

Current practices of the poultry industry have raised ethical and ecological concerns including the culling of day-old male chicks and the import of large quantities of soybeans for feedstuff. Now a research team at the University of Göttingen has investigated alternatives such as using a regional protein crop like broad beans and dual-purpose chicken breeds that are suitable for both meat and egg-laying. more…


Ecologists confirm Alan Turing’s theory for Australian fairy circles

Fairy circles are one of nature’s greatest enigmas and most visually stunning phenomena. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has now, for the first time, collected detailed data to show that Alan Turing’s model explains the striking vegetation patterns of the Australian fairy circles. In addition, the researchers showed that the grasses that make up these patterns act as “eco-engineers” to modify their own hostile and arid environment. more…


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Further news

Top marks for academic subjects at University of Göttingen

Im aktuellen Shanghai Ranking belegen die Fächer Agrarwissenschaften, Statistik und Ökologie der Universität Göttingen bundesweit den ersten Platz. Das Fach Chemie teilt sich den ersten Platz mit der TU München. Ebenfalls Spitzenplätze erreichten die Zahnmedizin, die Psychologie sowie die Wirtschafts- und Rechtswissenschaften. Im weltweiten Vergleich konnten sich die Agrarwissenschaften auf Rang 24 und die Ökologie auf Rang 36 platzieren. more…

Dr Patrick Weigelt is the 2020 winner of the Early Career Award

Dr Patrick Weigelt, an early career researcher in the field of biodiversity, macroecology, and biogeography at the University of Göttingen, will receive the Leopoldina Early Career Award 2020 presented by the Commerzbank Foundation. The prize is endowed with €30,000. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honors him for developing biodiversity databases and for his research on plant biodiversity. more…

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