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Sweat bees on hot chillies: native bees thrive in traditional farming, securing good yield
Farming doesn`t always have to be harmful to bees. On the contrary, even though farmers on the Mexican peninsula of YucatŠn traditionally slash-and-burn forest to create small fields, this practice can be beneficial to sweat bees by creating attractive habitats. The famers profit as well since they depend on these insects to pollinate their habanero chillies. This discovery by an international team of authors, headed by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), was recently published in the international "Journal of Applied Ecology".
The diversity of resources determines the diversity of species
It is well-established that the more species that thrive in a habitat, the better it is at weathering a variety of events from floods to drought to fire. Now, an international study with strong ties to the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) is shedding new light on the effect of an increasingly common human-caused disturbance — the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — on a wide range of grassland ecosystems around the world. Results are published in "Nature".
Study: bees are more productive in the city than in surrounding regions
Bees pollinate plants more frequently in the city than in the country even though they are more often infected with parasites, a factor which can shorten their lifespans. These were the findings of a study conducted by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in conjunction with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). The findings were recently published in the international journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B".
Woodlands in Europe: more tree species, more benefits
Forest homogenisation results in a lower ecosystem performance. This summarises the findings of an international team of scientists from 29 institutions, including researchers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). The scientists were able to demonstrate that species-rich forest stands give rise to a higher number and more varied range of services than those with fewer species. 200 forests across six European countries were investigated as part of the study. The findings have now been published in the renowned scientific journal "PNAS".
New evidence that diversity has a positive effect on biomass production
Communities rich in species are substantially healthier and more productive than those depleted of species. An international group of scientists has solved this long-standing ecological riddle using new scientific techniques for analysing complex data of grassland ecosystems worldwide. The study with participation of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is published in the current issue of "Nature". It is the most comprehensive study up to now, which shows this effect in natural, un-manipulated ecosystems.
Steintor-Campus: All moved in
Winter semester saw classes start up on the Steintor Campus for the first time. The campus is Halle University’s fourth largest after University Square, the Francke Foundations and Weinberg Campus with its nearby hospital. The idea of concentrating all of the humanities and social sciences departments in one location has been 15 years in the making.
Humboldt Professorship for MLU and UFZ: Tiffany Knight bolsters biodiversity research
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) were successful in their nomination for Germany’s most highly endowed research award, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. Tiffany Knight, a US-American from Washington University in St. Louis, is set to strengthen biodiversity research in Central Germany. The Humboldt Foundation will provide five million euros in funding over five years. Biologist Tiffany Knight is the third Humboldt professor at MLU taking her place alongside physicist Stuart Parkin and Germanist Elisabeth Dťcultot.
Study finds there is less knowledge about global species diversity than previously assumed
Many of the previous studies on global species diversity are inaccurate. These are the conclusions of an international research group, led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in collaboration with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle - Jena - Leipzig (iDiv), which carried out a long-term study on biodiversity in the subtropical forests of China. The study shows that there might be an under- or overestimation of global biodiversity by up to 50 per cent when the survey is based on only a few taxa. The study’s findings were published in the journal “Nature Communications”.
New ideas for information technology: CRC at Halle university receives 10 million euros from DFG
The third round for cutting-edge research in nanoscience: The collaborative research centre (CRC) 762 “Functionality of Oxide Interfaces” at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) will receive 10 million euros in funding for a further four years from the German Research Foundation (DFG). MLU’s partners are the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle.
One and a half tonnes of valuable files: winner of the Humboldt Research Award brings wealth of data to Halle
The data of the oldest German collection of biographical interviews recorded on audio tape was believed to have gone missing years ago. Now it is stored at MLU. The transfer was facilitated by a Humboldt Research Award winner, Prof. Christina von Hodenberg, who is originally from Queen Mary University London and currently working in Halle.
“Science” Article: Researchers from Halle discover genetic basis for social behaviour in bees
The social behaviour of bees depends on the highly complex interactions of multiple gene groups rather than on one single gene. This has been established by an international team of researchers that includes scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. The researchers analysed and compared ten bee genomes in order to identify a common genetic basis for the social behaviour of different species of bees.
DAAD to fund Halle University’s exchange programme with China for another four years
The successful student exchange programme between the Institute of Economic Law of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Bussines and China’s Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing will continue to receive another four years of high-level funding. Following a positive evaluation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is once again providing the programme with around 500,000 EUR. Under the leadership of Professor Christian Tietje, the institute has supported an exchang≠≠e programme for students and scientists with the university in China since 2006.