MOLART - Recognition and documentation of molecular species

The project aims at improving the systematics and identification of the most abundant insect group (Collembola) by both innovative and conventional approaches. Main task is the application, development and standardisation of molecular biological methods for the distinction and documentation of species that are hard to identify by conventional (morphological) methods. This is exemplified for two species complexes, namely the Isotoma viridis group and the Protaphorura armata group (Insecta; Collembola), using different molecular markers such as DNA sequencing, RAPD or allozymes. The molecular techniques will supply the work of the associated project "DNA-Tax 1", which is working on DNA-based insect systematics, and in addition come up with recommendations for reproducible, quick and efficient routine identification. To ensure correct identification and classification, this is conducted in cooperation with an experienced taxonomic expert (A. Fjellberg), who will also provide Collembola specimens for DNA-Tax 1, his database on Fennoscandian Collembola via internet and who will work on Vol. 2 of his identification key for this group.

Funding organisation and runtime:

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) 2000-2003

Contact:

Ulrich Burkhardt, Juliane Filser, Arne Fjellberg

Cooperation:

Prof. Dr. Francesco Frati, University of Siena, Italy

EDIS (Entomological Data Information System) Network

More details about EDIS (in German)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fauna Europaea

The department contributes to WP no. 3 of the project (end user forum).

Funding organisation and runtime:

European Union (EU)

1999-2003

Contact:

Juliane Filser

Cooperation:

Numerous institutions, in particular museums, within the project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soil animals and litter decomposition

A literature review is conducted on the role of soil animals in organic matter breakdown in arable land. The project is part of a small network "Assessing the effects of pesticides on non-target soil organisms involved in the degradation of organic matter" and contributes together with the other two projects ("soil microorganisms" and "litter breakdown test systems") to the development and completion of an EU directive for the risk assessment of pesticides (directive 91/414/EC).The following main topics are covered:

  1. Significance of various soil animal groups for the breakdown of organic matter
  2. Effects of pesticides on soil animals and their functions in organic matter breakdown

Funding organisation and runtime:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

February - November 2001

Contact:

Holger Mebes, Juliane Filser

Cooperation:

University of Southhampton, GB, School of Biological Sciences (Dr. Geoff Frampton, Project coordination, Dr. Susan Jones: Soil microorganisms)

ECT Ökotoxikologie, Flörsheim: Dr. T. Knacker, Dr. J. Römbke, Dr. B. Förster (Litter breakdown test systems)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bioavailability of contaminants in soils

A comparative literature study is conducted on the 'state of the art' of the concepts on bioavailability of contaminants in soils. By systematically summarising and attempting to evaluate the different concepts the project is intended

Funding organisation and runtime:

Umweltbundesamt (UBA)

September 2001 - October 2002

Contact:

Tobias Frische, Holger Mebes, Juliane Filser

Cooperation:

With various institutions, including an international final project symposium (scheduled for June 2002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soil ecology in a desert ecosystem

The first Minerva-School 'Soil ecology in a desert ecosystem' was conducted with Prof. P. Felix-Henningsen, University of Gießen between March 15 - 23, 2001. 10 Students from the universities of Gießen, Münster and Bremen and 7 students from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, participated in the field and laboratory course - focused on soil science and soil zoology - plus evening seminars and in the subsequent two-day excursion through S Israel.

Funding organisation and runtime:

MINERVA foundation

March 2001

Contact:

Juliane Filser

Cooperation:

Prof. Dr. Peter Felix-Henningsen, University of Gießen, DE Prof. Dr. Aaron Kaplan and Simon Berkowicz, AERC Arid Ecosystem Research Centre, and other scientists and institutions, Israel