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Coastal Ecology


The Coastal Ecology section focuses strategically and operationally on the following major themes and research questions:

Long term coastal analyses

What geological and biological changes to coastal systems have taken place over the past decades, how have natural and anthropogenic processes influenced these systems, and can we predict which scenarios are to be expected in the future?

Coastal life strategies

How are organisms, species interactions and the dynamics of communities and their habitats affected by global change, and what consequences do these changes have for evolutionary adaptive strategies?

Coastal system response

How do coastal systems react to changing environmental parameters, and how do these changes influence the structure and function of ecosystems and their physical morphology?


Longterm Ecological Research


Working group: Ecosystem Analysis

Sargassum muticum

  • We understand an ecosystem as a complex unity consisting of both the community of organisms interacting and abiotic environmental factors, the biotope. Community and biotope are tightly connected by causal and functional interdependencies of both biotic and abiotic components.
  • We understand biodiversity not only as the sum of species or habitats, but particularly as the sum of interactions, connecting these components at species or community level (Flow diversity). We try to identify key stone species and to quantify dependencies among species.


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