Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Scientists call for a paradigm shift in restoration projects in "Science"

Regardless of whether we are dealing with a floodplain landscape or an entire national park, the success of a restoration project depends on more than just the reintroduction of individual plant or animal species into an area. An international team of researchers led by Martin Luther University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research reveals it is more a matter of helping the damaged ecosystem to regenerate and sustain itself. In the current issue of the journal Science the researchers describe how rewilding measures can be better planned and implemented - and the benefits this can have on humans.

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Neonicotinoids: Honeybees are much more robust than bumblebees

The neonicotinoid clothianidin affects different species of bees in different ways. While it has no demonstrably negative effect on honeybees, it disrupts the growth of bumble bees and threatens the survival of entire colonies. However, the insecticide does not make either species more susceptible to diseases and pathogens, as a massive field study in Sweden shows. The international team, including scientists from Martin Luther University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

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People used natural dyes to colour their clothing thousands of years ago

Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes. Chemists from Martin Luther University have created new analytical methods to examine textiles from China and Peru that are several thousand years old. They present their findings in "Scientific Reports".

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Plant diversity increases insect diversity

The more plant species live in grasslands and forests, the more insect species find a habitat there. However, the presence of more plant species does not only increase insect species richness, i.e. the number of species, but also insect abundance, i.e. the number of individuals. Simultaneously, animal diversity is not only determined by plant diversity, but also by the physical structure of the plant communities. These are the results of an international collaboration led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research.

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Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness

Loss and fragmentation of habitat are among the main reasons why biodiversity is decreasing in many places worldwide. A research team with participation of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University has established that the destruction of habitat causes double damage to biodiversity. If habitat patches disappear, not only do the species living there become extinct, but species richness in neighbouring patches also declines, the researchers write in the journal Ecology Letters.

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Complete world map of tree diversity

Researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and Martin Luther University have now succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of biodiversity showing numbers of tree species. With the new map, the researchers were able to infer what drives the global distribution of tree species richness. The new approach could help to improve global conservation.

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Our commitment to refugees

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg supports refugees eager to study by providing the following counselling services and measures.

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