Ecophysiology and Functional Ecology

Gas exchange measurementsStress physiology - application of chlorophyll fluorescenceUsing spectral reflectance sensors to determine NDVI and PRI of biocrustsGreenhouse experimentField work in NamibiaMicroclimate and evapotranspiration measurementsInvestigations of stand strructure - leaf area measurementsAutomatic minirhizotron for investigations of fine-root dynamicsDetermination of chlorophyll content


Ecophysiology represents the study of short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions. Understanding of these basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stress is crutical for plant production. These includes photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, water and mineral uptake. The analyses is based on measurements of ecophysiological parameters like leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, water-use efficiency, plant water status, and chemical analysis of plants and soils in controlled greenhouse experiments and field trials. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant interactions within natural and agricultural ecosystems. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning.  

The research is grouped in five main topics:

(i)    plant ecophysiology and stress physiology

(ii):   ecophysiology of desert plants

(iii)   linking microclimate and ecophysiology  

(iv)   soil-plant interactions

(v)   root dynamics



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