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Featured Projects

DFG-SPP 1803: EarthShape

This programm focuses on biotic processes shaping the Earth' surface. The test areas are situated in Chile. Our contribution is a closer look at vegetation effects on sediment storage and connectivity (Summary).



Vegapp for collecting vegetation data

VegX-exchange standard (vs. 2.0.0)

Research in the working group Vegetation science and Biogeography

We explore the drivers of spatial and temporal variation in vegetation and biocoenoses and their consequences on the function of ecosystems.

We use remote sensing and numerical simulations to enhance our understanding of ecosystem processes. This research complements field-work and multivariate analyses of ecological and macroecological records. We are also active in applied research related to sustainable land-use and nature conservation.

Overview of all projects


Techniques of vegetation remote sensing are developed to address the questions of vegetational ecology and to facilitate a realistic portrayal of vegetation cover. Multivariate techniques of macroecology and ecological data analysis help herein. Examples of research in this area include:

- Remote sensing of functional group of plants
- Remote sensing of continuum in vegetation
- Multivariate techniques in macro- and vegetational ecology



Numerical simulations of ecosystem functions and biodiversity contribute to the understanding of climatic and land-use changes. Examples of research in this area include:

- Populations dynamics and climatic change
- Competing functional groups of plants
- Fire ecology
- Shifts in species distributions



Our findings are applied for tracing vegetation changes in nature conservancy and for aiding sustainable land-use management. Typical applications include:

- Remote sensing for monitoring in nature conservation and management
- Sustainable land-use management



Collaborative development of an international exchange standard for vegetation data (VegX), development of tools like Vegapp for collecting vegetation data in the field.



Kyrgyz forests

"... that grand subject, that almost keystone of the laws of creation, Geographical Distribution." (Charles Darwin, 1845, Letter to J.D. Hooker, Director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew)


Conceptual model development
Courtesy: K. Canak