Environmental Physiology and Functional Ecology

Soils, plants and ecosystems - Maik Veste Lab

Plant life in extreme ecosystemsInfluence of climate on vegetation in arid and semi-arid ecosystemsClimateBIOCRUST: Physiological activity of biocrustsEcological functions of biocrustsAgroSolarSystems: tree-crop interactions in South AfricaPlant Functional EcologyAgroSolarSystems: Tree-crop interactions in AgroLandscapes (South Africa)ANFOREK - Reclaimed post-mining site in Welzow Süd, Lower LusatiaApplied research for reclamation of post-mining sites in Lower Lusatia

Research Themes:


Plant Ecophysiology and Functional Ecology

Ecophysiology represents the study of short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions. These includes photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, water and mineral uptake. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant interactions within ecosystems. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning and development.
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Cover (7)

Ecology of post-mining sites - Brandenburg

Open-cast mining are often large scale disturbances, which affects entire landscapes and ecosystem processes.  These initial soils, consisting of excavated and dumped material, are characterized by a high vulnerability to erosion, low water holding capacity, lack of nutrients, low pH or sparse vegetation. Such harsh human impacts create the need for remediation and restoration measures for mining regions that address classical agricultural services, forestry and  nature conservation. Read more

Biological soil crusts - Brandenburg

In many ecosystems of the world biological soil crusts play an important role for ecosystem processes. These biological crusts (biocrusts or cryptogamic crusts) are assemblages of cyanobacteria, green algae, bacteria mosses, liverworts, fungi and/or lichens. BSC are highly stress tolerant under extreme environmental conditions and therefore widespread in many ecosystems from the deserts to polar regions. The understanding of pattern formations and interactions with biogeochemical and biotic processes are important for ecological theory and for applications in restoration ecology. Read more


Linking Ecophysiology and Microclimatology - South Africa

Our research aim is to integrate ecological based results into agricultural production systems. It is crucial to understand plant responses to combinations of water and nutrient availability for the development of sustainable plant production systems. Particular emphasis is put on interactions between crops and their environment and on plant performance, based on ecophysiological processes and soil-plant-atmosphere interactions.  Focus of our research are physiological processes of tree-crop interactions in agroforestry systems and their relations to microclimate and soil properties in South Africa. Read more

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