Forests are globally important for the provisioning of ecosystem functions and services that human well-being depends on. Protection of climate, water, soils, and nutrient dynamics, as well as conservation of biodiversity are more and more recognized as key aspects of sustainable and forward-looking forest management. However, biodiversity—as an essential prerequisite for ecological functionality—is increasingly affected by global environmental change. Understanding the ecosystem-level consequences of these effects requires adequate integration of the complexity of ecological interactions across trophic levels.
Our research provides insights into the patterns, dependencies, and mechanisms driving the structuring and functioning of communities (in particular species-rich arthropod communities) for a better understanding of ecological interrelationships, for testing and further deveoping concepts of biodiversity and nature conservation and their integration into multifunctional management strategies. We are particularly interested in
- the relationships between processes structuring communities across different tropic levels, the generation and maintenance of biodiversity, and the functioning and stability of forest ecosystems,
- the driving mechanisms behind, and the variability in, the distribution of species, biodiversity patterns, and biodiversity relationships in space and time and among different groups of organisms, and
- deriving management options for integrative nature conservation.