- Wie vertragen sich Artenvielfalt und menschliche Besiedlung? : Städtische Biotope und gefährdete Arten im Rhein-Main-Gebiet (2008)
- Ohne das Eingreifen des Menschen wäre Mitteleuropa fast ein reines Waldgebiet. Noch heute beheimaten die Wälder eine große Vielfalt an Pflanzen und Tieren, die für diese Region spezifisch sind. Regionale Besonderheiten gehen aber verloren, je mehr Menschen in die Ökosysteme eingreifen: So unterscheiden sich die Pflanzenarten auf der North Charles Street in Baltimore nur wenig von denjenigen der Mainzer Landstraße in Frankfurt. Gleichzeitig verdrängen zugewanderte und eingeschleppte Arten heimische Tiere und Pflanzen. Allerdings gibt es auch im Frankfurter Stadtgebiet echte Horte der Biodiversität.
- Twenty Years of Cooperation between Botanists of the Goethe-University Frankfurt (Germany) and of West African Universities (2009)
- The year 1989 represents the starting point of the cooperation between botanists of the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (Germany) and of the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Some years later, the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) joined the cooperation. This paper gives an overview on joint projects, resulting publications and theses, and on other achievements of this fruitful cooperation, which meanwhile also comprises partners of Ivory Coast, Niger and Senegal.
- Restoration of Bare Incrusted Soils in the Sahel Region of Burkina Faso (2010)
- Bare incrusted soils are a degradation stage often encountered in the Sahel zone. Our study documents the success of restoration (= regreening) experiments using deep ploughing in an experimental site south of Gorom-Gorom in the Oudalan province of Burkina Faso. We used phytosociological relevés and maximum likelihood classifications of digital photography to analyze changes in vegetation. Plant cover in treated plots was found to be about 20 times higher than in control plots, mean species richness more than twice as high. Therefore, this promising restoration method should be tested also in other Sahelian regions. Our approach to combine phytosociological relevés and maximum likelihood classifications of digital photography proved to be very useful.
- Epilobium brachycarpum: a fast-spreading neophyte in Germany (2013)
- Only a small proportion of introduced plant species become invasive and may eventually create eco-logical or economic problems. In many species it is still not clear which traits cause biological inva-sions. As a case study we focussed on the fast-spreading Epilobium brachycarpum in Central Europe to investigate the potential of this species to become a transformer or agricultural weed. We (1) docu-mented the spread of the species in Central Europe, (2) modelled its range and (3) seed dispersal, (4) described its phytosociological alignment, (5) analysed the traits of invaded vegetation types, (6) de-scribed seed production, population densities and life cycle, (7) did competition and germination tests, and (8) drafted a risk assessment. Relevant traits and characteristics of E. brachycarpum are (i) for-mation of dense stands under ruderal conditions, (ii) high seed production, (iii) effective seed dispersal, (iv) high competitiveness on bare soils against other ruderal plants, and (v) ecological niche shift com-pared to its native range. We expect E. brachycarpum to settle in the Mediterranean, sub-Mediterranean and many parts of temperate Europe within the next decades in habitats strongly altered by human activities, especially open stands of the alliance Sisymbrion. We predict that E. brachycarpum will become a noxious weed in vineyards, and that it will also colonise vegetation of the alliances Bidention and Carici-Epilobion.