Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Creating knowledge since 1502

University successfully saves energy

At the University of Halle, 13 percent energy has been saved in December 2022 compared to the previous year through targeted measures and the cooperation of employees. Further savings results can be viewed on the special "Energy" page set up for this purpose. [ mehr ... ]

Widespread species are gaining even more ground, new study shows

Widespread animal and plant species benefit from human impacts on nature and can spread even further. In contrast, species with a small range retreat even further. This is shown in a new study by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), which was published in "Nature Communications". The team analysed data from over 200 studies and was able to show that protected areas can mitigate some of the effects of biodiversity change and slow down the systematic decline of less common species.

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Global climate data insufficiently explain composition of local plant species

The global climate influences regional plant growth – but not to the same extent in all habitats. This finding was made by geobotanists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) after analysing over 300,000 European vegetation plots. Their conclusion: No general prediction can be made about the effects of climate change on the Earth's vegetation; instead, the effects depend to a large degree on local conditions and the habitat under investigation. The findings were published in "Nature Communications".

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Why are mammals more likely to go extinct on islands than on the mainland?

Islands are "laboratories of evolution" and home to animal species with many unique features, including dwarfs that evolved to very small sizes compared to their mainland relatives, and giants that evolved to large sizes. A team of researchers from the German Centre of Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has now found that species that evolved to more extreme body sizes compared to their mainland relatives have a higher risk of extinction than those that evolved to less extreme sizes. Their study, which was published in Science, also shows that extinction rates of mammals on islands worldwide increased significantly after the arrival of modern humans.

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Rare genetic disease: researchers discover new treatment for ADCY5-related dyskinesia

The movement disorder ADCY5-related dyskinesia can be treated with the asthma drug theophylline. This has been shown in a recent study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), University Medicine Halle and University of Leipzig Medical Center. In the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers describe the case of a child with this disease whose symptoms improved significantly with the drug. ADCY5-related dyskinesia is an extremely rare disorder that causes dyskinesia and uncontrolled movements in affected individuals. Currently, there is no cure for this disease.

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How does biodiversity change globally? Detecting accurate trends may be currently unfeasible

Existing data are too biased to provide a reliable picture of the global average of local species richness trends. This is the conclusion of an international research team led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The authors recommend prioritising local and regional assessments of biodiversity change instead of attempting to quantify global change and advocate standardised monitoring programmes, supported by models that take measurement errors and spatial biases into account. The study was published in the journal Ecography.

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