Biological soil crusts as unique microecosystem represent a suitable model system to address taxonomy and cryptic diversity of microalgal key players

The project is embedded within the overarching program "TaxonOmics", which aims to apply modern taxonomic approaches to discover and name organisms, which is the basis accurate biodiversity estimation. Our project will focus on abundant and ubiquitous microalgae in biological soil crusts. The world-wide distribution of BSCs makes this interesting microhabitat a suitable candidate to observe speciation processes in microalgae along geographical gradients and varying environmental stressors. A polyphasic approach will result in a robust taxonomy as well as in the discovery of new microalgal species.

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CLIMARCTIC

The main objectives of CLIMARCTIC are the potential effects of climate change on the biodiversity and functioning of Arctic soil and lake microbiomes. Therefore, the project will also focus on the role of microbial community on arctic (and global) carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycling.

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Biological soil crusts as a pioneer community for the greening of potash spoil heaps

In this project the application of biological soil crusts for a greening of potash spoil heaps will be studied. The aim is to reduce runoff of salt brine by trapping rain water with the crust. Organisms of soil crusts from heap environments will be isolated, their salt tolerance evaluated and finally artificial crusts will be built on heap material.

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CRUSTWEATHERING - Structure and function of biocrusts in weathering, soil formation and erosion processes

Selected biocrust photosynthetic microorganisms are investigated for the bio-weathering potential. Detailed information on crust-weathering processes is crucial to link key biocrust organisms to the biogeochemical cycling of P- , C- and N-compounds on micro and landscape scale.

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Crustfunction II - Function of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in temperate zones

Martin Albrecht investigates BSCs of the Biodiversity Exploratories genetically, in terms of the functionality of the microorganism community, thereby linking it to nutrients and land use intensity.

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Phosphatases – Development of new quantitative assays along terrestrial-aquatic gradients

The general goal of this thesis is to optimize the methods, which measure the phosphatase activity in aquatic and terrestrial field samples. To use this methods to determine the phosphatase activity as a proxy for the phosphorus demand in different algae and microorganisms and to define a specific threshold for P limiting conditions. With this proxy system we want to assess the total alkaline phosphatase activity and the different phosphor pools comparative between different habitats along the Baltic Sea and quantify the in-situ turnover rates of organic phosphorus from different planktonic and soil communities over the seasons.

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Biologische Bodenkrusten in Dünen

Im Rahmen eines Georg-Forster Forschungsstipendiums der Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung untersucht Dr. Tatiana Mikhailyuk die morphologische und molekular-genetische Biodiversität von Grünalgen und Cyanobakterien in biologischen Bodenkrusten von Dünen der Ostsee, sowie im Vergleich zu denen am Schwarzen und Azov Meer (Ukraine). Darüber hinaus werden erste biogeochemische Untersuchungen zur Phosphor-Anreicherung durch biologische Bodenkrusten durchgeführt.

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BACOSA - Stofflüsse im Pelagial

Im Rahmen des Projekts BACOSA (Baltic Coastal System Analysis und Status Evaluation) werden Daten zu Stoffströmen im Schilfgürtel und in von Makrophyten dominierten Zonen innerer und äußerer Küstengewässer erhoben. Dabei steht die Verfügbarkeit des Elements Phosphor im Fokus. Das Projekt "Stofflüsse im Pelagial - Produktion im Pelagial und Stoff- sowie Partikelaustausch mit den Sedimenten" wird an der biologischen Station Zingst durchgeführt. 

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Baltic TRANSCOAST - Microphytobenthic primary production

Microphytobenthic primary production and DOC exudation/mineralization are quantitatively measured along a coastal peatland-shallow water gradient. Its influence by terrestrial compounds, hydrodynamic parameters and sediment transport is assessed in order to address the biogeochemical C cycle in the shallow water zone.

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Protists in Biological Soil Crusts

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) consist of soil particles and organisms within the uppermost millimeters of soil surface. Soil microbiota is one of the most important aspect of BSCs studies, which is one of the frontiers in biodiversity research. Protists are critical components of microbial communities and have ecological roles in soil.

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Diatom composition and biodiversity

Diatoms are an ecologically widespread group, occurring in the oceans, in fresh water, in soils, and on moist surfaces. They have an important role as primary producers of organic materials especially in the marine ecosystem. Diatom communities are also used as a monitoring tool for water quality and as indicators in palaeolimnology.

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Biodiversity and biogeography of marine benthic diatoms from polar regions

In Antarctic and Arctic marine ecosystems, especially microorganisms and their biodiversity and function in food webs are not well studied, as are the mechanisms, that influence their spatial and temporal distribution. This project is part of the German Research Foundatin (DFG)-funded Priority Porgram "Antarctic Reseach) and focusses on the biodiversity and biography of benthic diatoms in coastal soft sediments.

 

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Ecological role of fungal parasites on benthic diatoms of polar coastal waters

Parasitism was recently identified as ecologically very successful and probably the most common biotic interaction and and nutrition in the world ocean’s pelagic zone. However, respective studies on polar benthic diatoms are lacking. We aim to address this lack of information in a PhD project in the framework of the German Research Council (DFG)- funded Priority Program 1158 "Antarctic Research".

 

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The invasive “shipworm” Teredo navalis at the Mecklenburg-western Pomeranian coast

The biology and ecology of the economically relevant species Teredo navalis is investigated at the Mecklenburg-western Pomeranian coast. Field surveys are conducted in combination with laboratory experiments. Specimens from the Baltic Sea are compared with close relatives from other marine regions.

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