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MSc Thesis offer – Chair of Restoration Ecology - Summer 2015

Preventing plant invasions during grassland restoration: Trait-based design of seed mixtures

Human activities are responsible for land use changes and associated ecosystem degradation worldwide. As a consequence, ecological restoration has become increasingly important for maintaining resilient and functioning ecosystems. The invasion of alien species (IAS) contributes to ecosystem degradation and complicates efforts to restore degraded systems. Therefore, one potential strategy for preventing the successful establishment of IAS such as Ambrosia artemisiifolia, is by designing resistant plant communities. Biotic resistance of the target community can be predicted by means of the limiting similarity theory, which states that IAS will be unlikely to establish if native species with similar traits are present in the resident community.

The main aim of this project is to investigate the invasion resistance of communities created by engineered seed mixtures and intended for grassland restoration. The design of these mixtures will be based on multiple functional plant traits by increasing the similarity between the overall traits of the native community and the invasive species. Hence, the assemblage of the communities will be decided according to trait-based models that can be used to generate ranges of species abundances to test the theory of limiting similarity. The resulted seed mixtures will be tested in a greenhouse experiment at the Center of Greenhouses and Laboratories Dürnast.

In a fast changing world, a trait-based framework provides restoration ecology with the opportunity to apply fundamental ecological theory to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Time schedule: The experiment will start at the end of May and run for 3 months.

Requirements: Previous knowledge of Background in ecology is necessary and basic floristic knowledge is helpful.

Please contact: Florencia Yannelli – florencia.yannelli@tum.de

Prof. Johannes Kollmann – jkollmann@wzw.tum.de   


Nutzung und Schutz der Feuchtgebiete in Maputaland (Südafrika/ Mozambik)

Im Rahmen des internationalen Projektes "Alliance for Wetlands - Research and Restoration" schreibt das Lehrstuhl für Renaturierungsökologie eine Masterarbeit zum Thema " Landscape Planning On the Edge - Possibilities, limits and conflicts of applying planning instruments for sustainable land use and nature conservation in rural areas in South Africa" aus. 

Detaillierte Informationen zum Thema, Zeitplan, Logistik sowie die Voraussetzungen der Bearbeitung können aus der Ausschreibung (pdf-Datei, 583 kB) entnommen werden.