News and Media Releases

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Leipzig is host to the oldest botanical garden in Germany. On an area of only three hectares, around 6500 of the 350,000 plant species worldwide grow here. (Picture: Swen Reichhold)
26.11.2020 | TOP NEWS, Media Release, iDiv Members

City could become a global reference for plant biodiversity researchers  › more

EuropaBON is supposed to bring together a wide range of different actors in a network across Europe. This involves monitoring data from volunteer ornithologists to remote sensing data. (Picture: S. Kadrijevic - AdobeStock)

Information system on Europe’s biodiversity and ecosystems for policy makers  › more

26.11.2020 | Biodiversity Conservation, Media Release, TOP NEWS
The drought of the last three years has favoured fungal diseases. In Leipzig's floodplain forests, ash and sycamore maple in particular are currently dying off. Even the English oak is already affected. (Picture: André Künzelmann/UFZ)

Experts from research, authorities and NGOs develop a common vision and evaluate possible measures  › more

23.11.2020 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS
(Picture: Stefan Bernhardt, iDiv)

12 iDiv members named Highly Cited Researchers  › more

19.11.2020 | TOP NEWS
Diverse plant communities provide multiple benefits and can help control herbivore pests. (Picture: Anne Ebeling)

Species-rich plant communities help to naturally reduce herbivore impacts.  › more

06.11.2020 | Theory in Biodiversity Science, Research, Experimental Interaction Ecology, iDiv, TOP NEWS
Lemurs exclusively appear in Madagascar. This red-fronted lemur mainly feeds on fruits. (Picture: Omer Nevo)

New iDiv research group investigates communication between plants and animals  › more

29.10.2020 | Media Release, Evolutionary Ecology, TOP NEWS
Bog complex of living and stagnant (foreground) raised bog with interspersed open water areas (called bog hollows, centre of picture) (Picture: Thomas Sperle)

Due to rising temperatures and longer dry periods, two plant species have already gone extinct.  › more

28.10.2020 | Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members, sDiv
The participation of expert volunteers in Citizen Science projects (here at the Butterfly Monitoring Germany, a project of the UFZ) is a fundamental pillar of biodiversity monitorings in Germany, especially for species groups such as butterflies, beetles, hoverflies or cicadas. (Picture: André Künzelmann/UFZ)

Integration of contributors promotes the quantity and quality of data  › more

27.10.2020 | Ecosystem Services, sDiv, Sustainability and Complexity in Ape Habitat, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Extensive grassland site in Hainich, Germany. Low intensity management grasslands maintain strong synergies between specialized species and functions and supply a more distinct set of ecosystem services than high intensity grasslands. (Picture: Michael Bonkowski)

A first assessment of the effects of land management on the linkages between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services  › more

26.10.2020 | Ecosystem Services, Media Release, TOP NEWS
The research team used the iDiv Ecotron, where identical climatic situations can be simulated in artificial ecosystems and observed with cameras. (Picture: iDiv)

Research group of iDiv and Jena University uses novel research method to study effect of insect decline on plant biodiversity  › more

26.10.2020 | TOP NEWS, iDiv, Experimental Interaction Ecology, Research, Media Release, iDiv Members
New study outlines the scientific basis for redesigning a new set of biodiversity goals. (Picture: Pixabay)

New publication in Science with iDiv contribution  › more

23.10.2020 | Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS, Media Release
In Germany, biodiversity in the agricultural landscape has declined. (Picture: Stefan Bernhardt, iDiv)

Position paper with participation of iDiv scientists  › more

19.10.2020 | Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
The research team’s experiments took place at locations such as the Saaleaue, where the Jena Experiment on functional biodiversity research is running. (Picture: Nico Eisenhauer)

Biodiversity experiment provides new insights into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem functions  › more

07.10.2020 | Experimental Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members, Media Release
Microscopic images from pollen, which are important for pollinators, obtained by image-based particle analysis. Each row shows a single pollen grain of a specific plant with a normal microscopic image (first image on the left) and fluorescence images for different spectral ranges (colored images on the right). (Picture: Susanne Dunker)

New method developed at UFZ and iDiv combines image-based particle analysis with artificial intelligence  › more

06.10.2020 | TOP NEWS, Media Release
Flower-rich meadow at a park in Leipzig, Germany. (Picture: Gabriele Rada / iDiv)

Data collected at species-rich sites may lead to the wrong conclusions on overall trends  › more

29.09.2020 | Biodiversity Synthesis, Research, Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS
<em>Gymnadenia conopsea</em> is common in Northern Europe, but can also be found in Central Europa. The orchid-rich semi-natural grasslands of the Czech Republic are among the most species-rich plant communities in Europe. (Picture: Tiffany Knight)

New automated method quickly and accurately reveals which species are most threatened  › more

28.09.2020 | Spatial Interaction Ecology, Evolution and Adaptation, sDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv
Old beech: Primary forests are crucial for biodiversity conservation and store high quantities of carbon in biomass, therefore helping to mitigate climate change. (Picture: Tzvetan Zlatanov)

First international assessment of the protection state of mostly ‘untouched’ forests in Europe  › more

15.09.2020 | TOP NEWS, Research, Media Release
A young chimpanzee feeds on seed pods in the Issa valley, Tanzania. (Picture: R. Drummond-Clarke/GMERC)

Both historical and recent variation in ecological and environmental conditions are associated with larger behavioural repertoires in wild chimpanzees  › more

14.09.2020 | Sustainability and Complexity in Ape Habitat, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Natural habitats that support high biodiversity are increasingly under pressure from agricultural land use. (Picture: Juan Carlos Munoz / Adobe Stocks)

How biodiversity could be preserved globally without sacrificing necessary production output  › more

09.09.2020 | Media Release, Macroecology and Society, TOP NEWS
Dr Martin Mascher, head of the iDiv Junior Research Group "Domestication Genomics" (Picture: IPK/ Andreas Bähring)

Based on a media release by the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben: Great success for iDiv Junior Research Group head Dr Martin Mascher. The 34 years old…  › more

03.09.2020 | Domestication Genomics, Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv, iDiv Members
Schwebfliege. Zusammen mit den Wildbienen sind sie die wichtigsten Best&auml;uber unserer Bl&uuml;tenpflanzen.&nbsp; (Picture: Willibald Lang / Flickr)

Nature conservation policy too rarely succeeds in changing people's behaviour  › more

01.09.2020 | TOP NEWS, Ecosystem Services, UFZ News, Media Release
Wildlife watching can be highly an emotional and educational experience. While scientific studies up to the year 2000 examined solely negative effects of interactions between humans and wild animals, more and more analyses now capture the positive effects on humans. (Picture: Jula Zimmermann)

Report by Joel Methorst (iDiv, Senckenberg, Goethe University Frankfurt), yDiv doctoral researcher Leipzig, Frankfurt. Non-material contributions of wildlife (WCP) to human well-being are gaining…  › more

31.08.2020 | yDiv, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members, Ecosystem Services
Leipzig's floodplain forest is one of the largest auf its kind in Central Europe. But drought, climate change and human intervention are putting it under huge pressure. (Picture: Tabea Turrini / iDiv)

Environmental Ministry of Saxony and City of Leipzig agree on measures to improve state of Leipzig’s floodplain forest  › more

28.08.2020 | iDiv, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Rope bridges can effectively help primates to cross transportation or service corridors. Colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) in Diani, Kenya. (Picture: Andrea Donaldson / Colobus Conservation)

Evidence-based conservation is key to curb primate population declines  › more

26.08.2020 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, Sustainability and Complexity in Ape Habitat, TOP NEWS
Aerial view of the Jena Experiment. (Picture: Jena Experiment)

Findings from experimental sites are reliable.  › more

24.08.2020 | iDiv Members, Experimental Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS, Media Release, Research, iDiv
Buff-tailed bumblebee (<em>Bombus terrestris</em>) (Picture: Wilhelm Osterman)

New study suggests it does, making them better pollinators, too.  › more

17.08.2020 | TOP NEWS, iDiv, iDiv Members, Research, Media Release, MLU News
So-called "algal blooms" are the result of a nutrient entering the aquatic system, e.g. a lake, and causing excessive growth of algae. (Picture: Adobe Stock)

Umfangreiche Datenanalyse zeigt: Schwellenwerte aus Umweltdaten kaum ablesbar.  › more

17.08.2020 | iDiv Members, UFZ News, iDiv, MLU News, Physiological Diversity, Research, TOP NEWS
Biodiversity loss has detrimental effects on ecosystem processes. Soil chemicals decimate plant decomposers, which inhibits their ecosystem function. This interrupts the nutrient cycle, for instance. (Picture: Léa Beaumelle)

Diversity of soil organisms has key role in the carbon cycle.  › more

04.08.2020 | Experimental Interaction Ecology, Media Release, TOP NEWS
The project "VielFalterGarten" will start with workshops on the different butterfly species that can be found in Leipzig. (Picture: Guy Peer)

Citizen Science Project "VielFalterGarten" offers workshops in Leipzig  › more

03.08.2020 | iDiv, Media Release, UFZ News, TOP NEWS
Nematodes are very small, microscopic worms that can be found in soils almost all over the world.&nbsp; (Picture: Andy Murray)

Only few studies investigate soil biodiversity in tropical and subtropical regions.  › more

03.08.2020 | Media Release, MLU News, TOP NEWS, Experimental Interaction Ecology, Research, iDiv
Aerial photo of a forest patch in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest surrounded by sugar cane. (Picture: Mateus Dantas de Paula)

New international research breaks ground for the next generation of biodiversity forcasts.  › more

29.07.2020 | TOP NEWS, iDiv, Spatial Interaction Ecology, Research, UFZ News, MLU News, Media Release, Biodiversity Synthesis
Climate change and land use reduce the biomass of soil animals. While changing climate reduces the body size of organisms, cultivation reduces their frequency. (Picture: Lisa Vogel / UFZ (illustration))

As a result of climate change, soil animals are getting smaller, and their numbers are falling due to intensive land use  › more

28.07.2020 | UFZ News, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, Experimental Interaction Ecology
To make wildlife trade more sustainable, it is essential to know and understand the reasons why people hunt and consume bushmeat. (Picture: Wild Chimpanzee Foundation)

Disease prevention and protection of species require differentiated strategies.  › more

17.07.2020 | Media Release, Research, TOP NEWS, iDiv, Sustainability and Complexity in Ape Habitat
The collaborative project of young researchers and artists from Leipzig shows that there is much more to pollination than the story of flowers and bees. (Picture: iDiv / G. Rada)

New exhibition at the Botanical Garden of Leipzig University now open to the public.  › more

17.07.2020 | iDiv, Media Release, Spatial Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS
Water hyacinth <em>(Eichhornia crassipes)</em> invasion in the Hartbeespoort reservoir in South Africa. Introduced as an ornamental plant it has become invasive across all continents except Antarctica. The plant alters local water flow, community composition and provides habitats for mosquitos that act as a major vector of diseases (Picture: Olga Ernst, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Alien species dramatically contribute to future biodiversity loss  › more

14.07.2020 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS
The space of the root economy comprises two independent gradients. The expression of a plant's roots depends on how the respective species has strategically aligned itself in the course of evolution with regard to these two gradients. A 'fast' or 'slow' economic strategy within the construction gradient is found in roots as well as in above-ground leaves and shoots. The collaboration gradient, on the other hand, only exists underground: do-it-yourself roots are comparatively thin and long to absorb as many nutrients as possible from the soil, while outsourcing roots are thicker to accommodate the symbiotic fungi. (Picture: Authors of the study)

International group of researchers with iDiv participation describes the growth strategies of plant roots  › more

03.07.2020 | sDiv, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS
(Picture: J. P. Kasper)

iDiv researchers to play a leading role in setting up National Research Data Infrastructure  › more

03.07.2020 | Biodiversity Informatics Unit (BDU), iDiv, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
The North American Raccoon (<em>Procyon lotor</em>) is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. (Picture: André Künzelmann)

A contribution to "World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice"  › more

29.06.2020 | iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, UFZ News
Ongoing forest loss is transforming ecosystems around the world, leading to diverse biodiversity change from gains to losses in different animals and plants. (Picture: Malkolm Boothroyd)

New international research reveals the far-reaching impacts of forest cover loss on global biodiversity.  › more

18.06.2020 | MLU News, Media Release, iDiv, Biodiversity Synthesis, Research, TOP NEWS
Safety signs in Leipzig City Park in March (Picture: Gabriele Rada)

iDiv economists combine epidemiological model with survey data for the first time  › more

15.06.2020 | Biodiversity Economics, TOP NEWS
Register now for the Citizen Science Dialogue Forum! (Picture: Florian Pappert - www.lighthooked.de)

Online forum to further develop citizen science strategy in Germany  › more

04.06.2020 | Media Release, Ecosystem Services, TOP NEWS, iDiv
The black-veined white <em>(Aporia crataegi)</em> is a widespread butterfly found in very variable habitats. It is one of the few butterfly species to benefit from Natura 2000 conservation areas. (Picture: Martin Musche)

Only a few butterfly species appear to benefit from Natura 2000 conservation areas  › more

25.05.2020 | Ecosystem Services, TOP NEWS, UFZ News, Media Release, iDiv Members
In these times of human retreat, we get a glimpse of how much nature the upcoming UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration can bring us. (Picture: AB Photography/stock.adobe.com)

A comment by Prof Dr Henrique Pereira  › more

20.05.2020 | Biodiversity Conservation, Media Release, TOP NEWS

You are invited to submit your abstract by 15 May 2020 for the GEO BON Open Science Conference & All Hands Meeting 2020.   › more

11.05.2020 | GEO BON, TOP NEWS
Species-rich rainforest of Mount Halimun Salak National Park, Java, Indonesia. (Picture: Leipzig University / Alexandra Muellner-Riehl)

New approach to phylogenetically guided drug discovery  › more

11.05.2020 | Media Release, Research, iDiv Members, iDiv, TOP NEWS
Mid- and high-latitude ecosystems from the Northern Hemisphere are some of the ecosystems expected to be more affected by the increases in pathogen proportions. The picture shows forests in the west of the USA.&nbsp; (Picture: Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo)

Scientists develop global map of future risk areas for plant diseasesBased on a media release by Pablo de Olavide University Sevilla Sevilla / Leipzig / Halle. Global warming will increase the…  › more

11.05.2020 | sDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS, Experimental Interaction Ecology
In warmer marine areas, like in Huinay Research Station (Chile), increases in the number of species were more pronounced. (Picture: Laura Antão)

New international research reveals warming in temperate regions leads to species gains at sea, but not on land.  › more

04.05.2020 | Biodiversity Synthesis, Media Release, TOP NEWS, MLU News, Research, iDiv
The global number of land-dwelling insects is in decline. (Picture: Gabriele Rada)

Global insect populations show highly variable local trends.  › more

24.04.2020 | Biodiversity Synthesis, sDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS
While some small-ranged species have disappeared, widespread, nitrogen-loving, and occasionally exotic species are on the rise. (Picture: Martin Adámek / Czech Academy of Sciences)

More nitrogen in the soil: common plant species on the rise  › more

13.04.2020 | Biodiversity Conservation, MLU News, iDiv, Media Release, Research, sDiv, TOP NEWS
Around 300 tree species grow in 50 hectares of old-growth forest at Barro Colorado Island, Panama.&nbsp; (Picture: Christian Ziegler)

New method enables predictions for the development of species-rich forests  › more

09.04.2020 | iDiv, Research, Computational Forest Ecology, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Cocoa plantation in West Africa (Picture: Janina Kleemann)

Study evaluates and quantifies ecosystem service flows  › more

30.03.2020 | Media Release, sDiv, Ecosystem Services, TOP NEWS, UFZ News
Restoring ecosystems through rewilding allows wildlife to return. (Picture: Stefano Unterthiner / Rewilding Europe)

Scientists and NGOs present policy papers.  › more

18.03.2020 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS
Arctic plant life is found at the cold climate extremes of the planet. (Picture: Sandra Angers-Blondin)

Plants growing at extremes follow the global rules  › more

13.03.2020 | sDiv, Research, TOP NEWS, iDiv, Media Release
Geographic region of each Anthropogenic Threat Complex (ATC). Each colour refers to a different ATC. The legend provides information on the magnitude of climate change and non-climatic drivers (human-use, pollution, alien species potential and human population) within each ATC. ATCs in different realms (marine or terrestrial) with similar magnitudes of climate change and non-climatic drivers are coloured in the same shade. (Picture: People and Nature , First published: 27 February 2020, DOI: (10.1002/pan3.10071)

Report by Diana Bowler, postdoctoral researcher at the Ecosystem Services group at iDiv, FSU resp. UFZ and first author of a new publications in 'people and nature' Leipzig. An important step in…  › more

12.03.2020 | sDiv, TOP NEWS, Ecosystem Services
Cluster analysis of keywords from 190 peer‐reviewed publications using plant trait data via TRY. The size of the circles and letters indicates the frequency of the keywords, colours indicate the eight clusters around the central keywords. (Picture: Global Change Biology, First published: 31 December 2019, DOI: (10.1111/gcb.14904))

On February 29, the number of 1 billion trait records delivered by iDiv’s research platform TRY was cracked. Founded in 2007 this open-access database has become the primary resource of plant…  › more

09.03.2020 | iDiv Members, iDiv, TOP NEWS
A structurally rich landscape is pleasing to the eye, promotes biodiversity and also benefits farmers. (Picture: Sebastian Lakner)

Common Agricultural Policy reform: More than 3,600 researchers call for science to be taken into consideration  › more

03.03.2020 | iDiv, Media Release, Ecosystem Services, TOP NEWS
Chimpanzee (<em>Pan troglodytes</em>) feeding on a wild date palm (<em>Phoenix reclinata</em>). (Picture: M. McLennan / Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project)

Colourful fruits may be the reason why primates can distinguish between shades of red, green and blue.  › more

26.02.2020 | Research, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Media Release, Evolution and Adaptation
Dryland ecosystem in Argentinian Patagonia (Picture: Juan José Gaitán, INTA (Argentina))

As aridity increases, dryland ecosystems undergo abrupt changes that will reduce their capacity to provide important ecosystem services.  › more

14.02.2020 | Research, sDiv, Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS
A greening Tundra landscape on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island (Canadian Arctic). (Picture: Jeffrey Kerby / National Geographic Society)

Causes of greening process more complex and variable than previously thought  › more

31.01.2020 | Research, iDiv, TOP NEWS, sDiv, Media Release
In cities, the dominant pollinators are bumble bees. (Picture: Christian Müller)

Plants benefit from more bees, especially bumble bees  › more

29.01.2020 | TOP NEWS, iDiv Members, Media Release, yDiv
European Peacock (<em>Aglais io</em>) (Picture: Guy Pe'er)

About the connection between insect decline, agricultural policy and our own consumption.  › more

23.01.2020 | Ecosystem Services, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Around carrion sites plant nutrient levels are enhanced. (Picture: Roel van Klink)

Scientists reveal the ecological importance of carion  › more

22.01.2020 | sDiv, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Natural grazing is a key ecological process that helps a myriad of species of half-open landscapes, and supports natural and mosaic forest landscapes less prone to fire. (Picture: Juan Carolos Muñoz Robredo / Rewilding Europe)

The rewilding of European ecosystems can help to tackle both the current climate and biodiversity emergencies.  › more

17.01.2020 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, MLU News, iDiv, TOP NEWS
Dragonflies are one of the species groups studied in the sMon project. The photo shows the four-spotted chaser, Libellula quadrimaculata. (Picture: Yuanyuan Huang)

Project brings together experts from all over Germany  › more

13.01.2020 | sDiv, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Marine protected areas are often designed and implemented to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable fisheries. www.pixelio.de (Picture: PIXELIO / Klaus Steves)

Marine protected areas in the Mediterranean Sea are home to more fish species, with the greatest gains found among species most sensitive to exploitation.  › more

07.01.2020 | Biodiversity Synthesis, Research, TOP NEWS, iDiv, Media Release
Invasive species are a common problem in restoration projects.

This text is only available in German.  › more

01.01.2020 | Media Release, MLU News, Research, Spatial Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS
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