Prof. Andreas Schuldt: "Arthropod diversity and ecological functions in mixed-species forests"

Date: November 21, 2018
Time: 2 pm (s.t.)
Place: F 01 (Büsgenweg 1)

Mixed-species forests are often considered as part of the solution to adapting forests to climate change and to the multiple-use requirements of modern societies. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments as well as comparative studies have provided us with insights into how mixtures of tree species affect plant biomass production and nutrient cycling. However, we know less about the effects of tree diversity on, and the interdependencies with, higher trophic levels. This is despite the fact that these higher trophic levels, such as arthropods, can be crucial for the regulation of ecosystem functions and make up the largest share of the biodiversity in forests. In my talk I will explore the relationships between tree diversity and the diversity, community composition, and functioning of important functional groups of arthropods, such as herbivores and predators. The results shed light on the extent to which arthropod diversity can be promoted by tree diversity - which is particularly relevant for biodiversity conservation - and how diversity effects might modify the influence of arthropods on ecosystem functioning (e.g. via herbivory and predation). The main focus of my talk will be on highly diverse and understudied subtropical forests, but with reference also to - and an outlook on the research needs for - managed forests in temperate regions of Central Europe.