News Archive 2021

all news | only media releases

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Klimatische Unterschiede verändern die Wuchshöhe von Pflanzenarten entlang der Breitengrade. Die Ökonomie der Pflanzen zeigt diese Gradienten aber nicht. (Picture: S. Michalski)

New findings could improve scientific Earth system models  › more

23.12.2021 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Overhanging branch of pedunculate oak due to the 2018 hotter drought. (Picture: Rolf A. Engelmann)

Decrease in growth due to drought stress in 2018 and 2019  › more

20.12.2021 | TOP NEWS, iDiv Members, Media Release
Graphical illustration of tree species responses in mixed-species forests to contrasting climatic conditions. Tree species grow differently in dry (year 2) or wet (year 3) years but this asynchronous growth stabilizes the productivity of the forest community. (Picture: Florian Schnabel)

Species richness stabilises forests against extreme climate conditions  › more

17.12.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS
The insect was caught by the researchers and students during an excursion to the floodplain forest. (Picture: Lisa Hahn)

Extremely rare insect species discovered during a field trip  › more

13.12.2021 | iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, Media Release, iDiv
All 3 pictures show examples of non-native plants. Here: The North American wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) in the Russian Altai Republic. (Picture: Elena Zykova)

Plant communities around the world are becoming increasingly similar  › more

12.12.2021 | sDiv, TOP NEWS, Research
In the Alps, plant communities on nutrient-poor sites, such as this calcareous grassland, are increasingly pressured by immigrating nitrophilous species but have not yet been displaced. Species numbers are actually increasing here at present. In the long term, however, they will decline, the researchers assume. (Picture: Harald Pauli/ÖAW)

New study shows: Europe's grasslands, forests and mountain summits are becoming increasingly similar in species composition  › more

10.12.2021 | Biodiversity Conservation, sDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Insects are the focus of several Citizen Science projects. The photo shows a European peacock. (Picture: Gabriele Rada / iDiv)

Cross-country study on the motivation of citizen scientists  › more

10.12.2021 | Biodiversity and People, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Relatively young secondary forest in Costa Rica with similar-sized slender stems. (Picture: Robin Chazdon)

Natural restoration of tropical forests provide large short-term benefits for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation  › more

09.12.2021 | TOP NEWS, sDiv, Biodiversity Economics, Media Release
The autumn spawning herring collapsed towards the end of the 16th century as a result of a combination of overfishing and climate change. (Picture: Aquarium GEOMAR, Jan Steffen)

Historical sources indicate that overfishing of the Baltic herring began over 500 years ago and continues to have an impact today  › more

01.12.2021 | TOP NEWS, Media Release, Biodiversity Economics
Scientists are calling for a new start in efforts to safeguard biodiversity. The photo shows a northern flicker lifting off (<em>Colaptes auratus</em> L.). (Picture: Marten Winter, iDiv)

Scientists propose framework for national-level implementation of global biodiversity goals  › more

23.11.2021 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS, Biodiversity and People, iDiv, iDiv Members
(Picture: Stefan Bernhardt, iDiv)

Eight iDiv members named Highly Cited Researchers  › more

16.11.2021 | TOP NEWS
The Sirente Velino Regional Park in the Abruzzo region of Italy is home to the endangered and therefore protected Marsican brown bear (<em>Ursus arctos marsicanus</em>). (Picture: Francesco Culicelli / Photo archive of Salviamo l'Orso (

New software predicts the movements of large land animals  › more

03.11.2021 | Research, Media Release, TOP NEWS, Theory in Biodiversity Science
Most flowering plant species rely on pollinators to reproduce. This is true for the annual daisy species that dominate the spring mass flowering displays in South Africa. Species such as <em>Gorteria diffusa</em>, <em>Dimorphotheca sinuata</em> and <em>Dimorphotheca</em> <em>pluvialis</em> are dependent on pollinators, such as the bee-flies pictured here, for seed production, and on seed for persistence in the system, making them vulnerable to pollinator decline. (Picture: Prof Alan Ellis/Stellenbosch University)

Global estimate of the importance of pollinators for seed production in plants  › more

14.10.2021 | Species Interaction Ecology, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Tropical rainforest in Laos, Southeast Asia - a region where geological dynamics led to very high biodiversity. (Picture: Picture: Oskar Hagen/iDiv)

New computer model helps to better understand species diversity in rainforests  › more

13.10.2021 | Media Release, TOP NEWS, Evolution and Adaptation
Research on traffic accidents currently focuses mainly on carnivore mammals, ungulates, marsupials and turtles. (Picture: Pixabay)

Traffic probably poses one of the greatest risks to animal populations. However, we currently know very little about this issue.  › more

05.10.2021 | Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Dr Alexander Zizka (iDiv/UL) (Picture: Stefan Bernhardt)

Award for creating a web-based tool linking natural and political science  › more

05.10.2021 | sDiv, TOP NEWS, Evolution and Adaptation
The experimental site in Torgnon (Italy), a grassland located at about 2100 m in the Western Italian Alps, and belonging to the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) and FLUXNET network.&nbsp; (Picture: Marta Galvagno)

Study helps to better assess the capacity of global ecosystems to adapt to climate and environmental change  › more

22.09.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS
Biodiversity has been steadily declining not only in reality but also in western literature since industralisation. (Picture: Gabriele Rada / iDiv)

An extensive analysis of literature suggests that people seem to be increasingly diconnected from nature  › more

17.09.2021 | TOP NEWS, iDiv, Media Release, Research
The three Minister Presidents and the Secretary-General of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) today opened the new iDiv research building in Leipzig. (Picture: Swen Reichhold/iDiv)

Three Minister Presidents pay tribute to international biodiversity research “made in Central Germany”. German Chancellor sends her congratulations  › more

15.09.2021 | Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS
Over the last decade, rewilding has emerged as a pragmatic way of restoring natural processes and enabling wildlife to comeback across European landscapes. (Picture: Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe)

Scientists have developed a new way of evaluating rewilding progress  › more

13.09.2021 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS
Picture: Staffan Widstrand (Picture: Staffan Widstrand)

Around the world, wildfires are posing major risks to people and nature. Domestic and wild animals can help prevent them  › more

06.09.2021 | TOP NEWS, Media Release, Biodiversity and People
Chimpanzees are found as four subspecies in 21 African countries from the lowlands to mountainous regions of up to 2800 m altitudes. Their evolution was significantly shaped by the ice ages. (Picture: Pixabay)

New models highlight the important role of glacial refugia for the evolution of chimpanzees  › more

31.08.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, Evolutionary and Anthropocene Ecology, Evolution and Adaptation, TOP NEWS
Healthy, grown-up trees of the original spruce clones used for the starving experiment (left) and experimental set-up used for CO2-starving and analyzing the spruce seedlings (right). (Picture: MPI-BGC)

Spruces even digest parts of themselves during periods of starvation to ensure long-term survival  › more

09.08.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, Molecular Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS

PhD student Axel Touw won third price for his poster Vlog, which he prepared for  the Symposium of Insect-Plant interactions 2021. The topic of his poster was "Riddles in the dark: Root-knot…  › more

02.08.2021 | MIE Group News
Prof Josef Settele (Picture: Björn Kray Iversen)

Taxonomists name a new butterfly genus Setteleia  › more

13.07.2021 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Countries like Australia and Indonesia with their large coastlines contribute a great deal to global CO2 storage and thus also to mitigating the costs of climate damage. Economically, however, they hardly benefit from this. The main beneficiaries here are India, China and the USA. (Picture: Bwe)

Climate and ecosystem change lead to a global redistribution of wealth  › more

09.07.2021 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS, Biodiversity Economics
The monitoring missions in the FLOW project are supported by the environmental mobiles of S&auml;chsischen Landesstiftung Natur und Umwelt (LaNU). (Picture: Julia von Gönner)

BUND, UFZ and iDiv are starting a citizen science project on stream monitoring  › more

07.07.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, Biodiversity and People
The artist group nachbars garten (from left to right: Kay Zimmermann, Enne Haehnle, Elisabeth Howey) together with Prof. Nicole van Dam (iDiv, FSU). (Picture: Stefan Bernhardt / iDiv)

The new forecourt of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig invites us to discover, wonder and linger, and arouses interest in the research centre.  › more

07.07.2021 | Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS
iDiv scientists investigate global biodiversity change and its consequences. (Picture: Stefan Bernhardt, iDiv)

iDiv research centre to receive additional millions  › more

07.07.2021 | iDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS
(Picture: )

sPlotOpen contains vegetation data from 114 countries of all climate zones  › more

22.06.2021 | sDiv, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, Media Release, MLU News
<em>Calopteryx virgo</em> breeds in rivers and streams and has been increasing since 1980 in Germany. This increase is reflecting a recovery from the impacts of past water pollution. (Picture: Andre Günther)

Some dragonfly and damselfly species suffer from habitat loss and degradation, while many species benefit from improved water quality and warmer climate  › more

18.06.2021 | iDiv, Research, TOP NEWS, Media Release, Biodiversity and People

In the upcoming two years, MIE will host the team of professor Martin Schlegel (UL) in our molecular lab. Here you see Stefan Schaffer and Jule Freudenthal in the lab, working hard to process the…  › more

16.06.2021 | MIE Group News
(Picture: Gabriele Rada / iDiv)

Exhibition offers insights into the world of plants and their pollinators.  › more

11.06.2021 | iDiv, Species Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS, Media Release
Global warming is leading to increasing water shortages for animals and plants, including our food and energy crops. (Picture: Bluedesign)

New workshop report on climate and biodiversity offers guidelines for pioneering policies  › more

10.06.2021 | Experimental Interaction Ecology, Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
The specific traits of a plant's roots determine the climatic conditions under which this plant prevails. (Picture: Fly Dragon Fly / Adobe Stock)

New study challenges the nature of ecological trade-offs  › more

09.06.2021 | iDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS, sDiv

Bart Swinkels has joined the Molecular Interaction Ecology (MIE) group to conduct his MSc internship. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Molecular Life Sciences at the Radboud University…  › more

07.06.2021 | MIE Group News

Molecular Interaction Ecology is welcoming Pius Otto to the group. Pius is an Erasmus Mundus student in the joint master degree of PLANT HEALTH IN SUSTAINABLE CROPPING SYSTEMS, following the…  › more

07.06.2021 | MIE Group News
Chimpanzees and other African apes could lose up to 94% of their range in the next 30 years. (Picture: Pascal Gagneux/GMERC)

Researchers predict massive decline in the range of African great apes over the next 30 years  › more

07.06.2021 | Media Release, iDiv Members, Evolutionary and Anthropocene Ecology, TOP NEWS
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) (Picture: Trevor Fristoe)

Patterns and drivers of alien plant species invasiveness in Europe identified by an international research team  › more

01.06.2021 | iDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS, Research

Ilaria Chiocchio has joined MIE as a scientific guest from the University of Bologna. At the University of Bologna Ilaria is part of the "Health, Safety and Green systems" PhD prgram, where…  › more

31.05.2021 | MIE Group News
The scarce fritillary (<em>Euphydryas maturna</em>) feeds exclusively on ash trees and needs moist, light forests as a habitat. The species scored lowest among the 158 species studied for urban affinity and is likely to continue to decline in Europe. (Picture: Julia Whittman, @birdingjulia CC BY 4.0)

Researchers record adaptability of 158 butterfly species to urbanisation  › more

31.05.2021 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
A macaque eats a palm oil fruit on the edge of the plantation.  (Picture: Anna Holzner)

Researchers spent months observing groups of southern pig-tailed macaques  › more

19.05.2021 | Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
Landscapes such as this multiply used and highly structured agricultural landscape in the Weser Valley, Lower Saxony, fulfil many of the features that are necessary from a scientific perspective. Arable farming, livestock management and biodiversity support each other. (Picture: Sebastian Lakner)

Scientists have made proposals for how EU agriculture could turn the tide in favour of sustainability within the next six years  › more

18.05.2021 | Biodiversity and People, Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
Summer marine phytoplankton bloom in the Baltic Sea captured by Envisat's MERIS on 13 July 2005. (Picture: ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

How to measure biodiversity using satellites  › more

13.05.2021 | Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS
The Flora Incognita mobile app can help identify plants in the field. In addition, by gathering information on the locations of identified plant species, valuable datasets are created. (Picture: Jana Wäldchen / MPI-BGC)

Plant occurrence data collected with an app uncovers macroecological patterns in Germany  › more

11.05.2021 | Media Release, Research, TOP NEWS, iDiv

Alexander Krüger has joined the Molecular Interaction Ecology (MIE) group as a research assistant and to write his MSc thesis. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of…  › more

04.05.2021 | MIE Group News

After succesfully defending his PhD thesis at the University of Bern, Con van Doan has joined the MIE group. Cong will work as a technical assistant in the project of Leonardo Bassi,…  › more

04.05.2021 | MIE Group News
Study site on the Havel River (Germany), one of 72 field experiments worldwide whose data were included in the synthesis. (Picture: Kristin Ludewig)

Climate change might lead to changes in plant diversity, especially in the world’s drylands  › more

03.05.2021 | Species Interaction Ecology, Physiological Diversity, iDiv Members, Biodiversity Synthesis, TOP NEWS, UFZ News
The contribution of tree plantations to biodiversity conservation is limited. (Picture: J. C. Lobo / Adobe Stock)

Plantations are home to significantly less beetles than old-growth forests.  › more

27.04.2021 | iDiv, Media Release, TOP NEWS
Plant roots with associated mycorrhizal fungi. (Picture: Super Organism, visual artist Suzette Bousema)

Award will give research collaboration with iDiv an extra boost.  › more

12.04.2021 | Media Release, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Experimental Interaction Ecology
Rice field in Sumatra. (Picture: Nico Boersen, Pixabay)

Ensuring sustainability of crop and timber production would mitigate the greatest drivers of terrestrial wildlife decline  › more

08.04.2021 | Research, iDiv, TOP NEWS, Biodiversity Conservation, Media Release
Especially in regions that are particularly affected by climate change, studies are often missing, for example in the mountains. The American yellow-bellied marmot is one of the few mammals for which the researchers were able to find relevant data. (Picture: Ben Hulsey)

Even with well-studied species groups such as mammals, there are huge data gaps  › more

07.04.2021 | Media Release, Species Interaction Ecology, iDiv Members, sDiv, TOP NEWS
&nbsp;The higher the number of plant and bird species in a region, the healthier the people who live there. Researchers also showed a positive relation of nearby parks and green space and mental health.&nbsp; (Picture: Stefan Bernhardt / iDiv)

Study on species diversity and human health in Germany shows positive relation on mental health, but no links to physical health.  › more

31.03.2021 | iDiv, yDiv, TOP NEWS, Research, Media Release
Short-lived plant species like grasses and herbs (here <em>Arabis fecunda</em>) are likely to suffer much more from future climatic change than long-lived species - less due to higher temperatures, but rather from a lack of water. (Picture: Radmila Savkovic on Pixabay)

Researchers investigate for the first time on a global scale how plant populations react to climate change  › more

23.03.2021 | Media Release, Species Interaction Ecology, iDiv Members, sDiv, TOP NEWS
The genome of the crop plant barley consists of about five billion nucleotides. When the international research team led by the IPK compared the different assemblies to each other, the HiFi assembly performed best. (Picture: Eva Siebenhühner/IPK)

New publication by iDiv member at IPK Leibniz Institute  › more

17.03.2021 | TOP NEWS, Media Release, iDiv Members
iDiv platform video highlights Ecometabolomics

Our Media and Communications unit made a  very nice series of videos of the iDiv platforms. In addition, they made an integrated video, where the iDiv platforms are presented as a network. As…  › more

08.03.2021 | MIE Group News
Observing animals obviously belongs to those ecosystem services that directly depend on the presence of species. However, these species provide a number of other services, such as pest control, seed dispersal, etc. (Picture: Pixabay)

Biodiversity doesn’t feature enough in large-scale assessments of ecosystem services  › more

05.03.2021 | Media Release, Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
Chimpanzees recorded by a PanAf camera trap. As the animals were not habituated to human presence, scat samples were used as sources of DNA for the study. (Picture: PanAf/MPI-EVA)

A new large-scale study uncovers recent genetic connectivity between chimpanzee subspecies despite past isolation events  › more

05.03.2021 | Sustainability and Complexity in Ape Habitat, Media Release, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
Changes in microbial diversity in soils may affect important ecosystem functions like nutrient cycles. (Picture: S. Piyaset - AdobeStock)

Global change alters microbial life in soils - and thereby its ecological functions  › more

24.02.2021 | Media Release, Experimental Interaction Ecology, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS
Some springtail species can endure antarctic cold down to -30&deg;C.&nbsp; (Picture: Andy Murray)

Researchers show that species' ability to adapt to climate warming is not unlimited  › more

22.02.2021 | iDiv Members, sDiv, TOP NEWS
Plant responses to climate are more complex than previously appreciated (Picture: David Mark, Pixabay)

Climate drivers outside of the growing season may have stronger effects on plants than previously assumed.  › more

22.02.2021 | Species Interaction Ecology, TOP NEWS, Media Release, iDiv
Asia&rsquo;s third biggest river, the Siberian Lena River, is 4,294 kilometres long, and has a drainage basin of 2,490,000 square kilometres.  (Picture: Pixabay)

Report by Dr Stefano Larsen, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy Trento/Leipzig/Seattle. The conservation and restoration of highly branched river courses can help to curb the extinction of fish species.…  › more

15.02.2021 | sDiv, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS, Theory in Biodiversity Science
Urban parks and their biological diversity contribute to our health and wellbeing, e.g. by reducing our stress level. (Picture: Foto: Stefan Bernhardt)

Biodiversity contributes to human health via four domains of pathways – both beneficial and harmful  › more

09.02.2021 | TOP NEWS, Biodiversity and People, iDiv Members
The global biodiversity strategy is currently being renegotiated (here at the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, Feb. 2020 in Rome) (Picture: IISD/Mike Muzurakis (

Researchers propose necessary corrections in global biodiversity policy  › more

26.01.2021 | Biodiversity Conservation, Media Release, iDiv Members, TOP NEWS
Franziska Bucher and Christine R&ouml;mermann investigate ageing processes in plants. (Picture: Anne Günther (Universität Jena))

Biologists study autumn phenology of herbaceous plants  › more

26.01.2021 | iDiv Members, Media Release, TOP NEWS
High density of street trees in cities (like here in Leipzig City centre) may help to improve mental health as well as local climate, air quality and species richness. (Picture: Philipp Kirschner)

Researchers show positive effect of urban nature on mental health  › more

25.01.2021 | TOP NEWS, Media Release, Biodiversity and People, iDiv Members
Earthworms are the architects of the soil. They mix the soil layers, form a network of burrows essential for soil water, air and nutrient dynamics, and decompose dead material. (Picture: Valentin Gutekunst)

Researchers call for greater consideration of soil biodiversity and functions in international conservation strategies  › more

14.01.2021 | Media Release, Experimental Interaction Ecology, GEO BON, TOP NEWS, iDiv Members
The Leipzig floodplain forest has been cut off from its natural water supply for over 80 years. The increasing drought caused by global warming is gradually causing the ecosystem to collapse. The state of Saxony is now planning a large-scale revitalisation. (Picture: André Künzelmann/UFZ)

iDiv-Forum 2021 (video conference), Monday, 11 January, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  › more

04.01.2021 | iDiv, TOP NEWS
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