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Research carried at the Department of Ecology

Main topics of research projects
Our most important findings

Research projects of the Department of Ecology cover wide range of ecological problems concerning both aquatic and terrestrial environments, from autecology of particular model organisms to evolutionary ecology, phylogeography and phylogeny to macroecology.


Studied model organisms include various clades of animals and plants (including algae). Our favourite animal objects are planktonic crustaceans, especially cladocerans, crayfish, pest mites, but also geckos and many species of birds. Botanical research focuses especially on invasive plants and ecology of algae both in extreme and common water environments.

Many fields of basic research at the Department of Ecology have also practical consequences for economy, medicine or conservation (for example, studies on invasive plants or pest mites involved in allergen production).

In this web section, you can learn more about ongoing research projects solved at the Department, about our role in science popularization, or about our scientific publications.

Main research projects of the Department of Ecology:

  • predator-prey relationship and its application in biological control of pests
  • pests monitoring based on their thermal requirements
  • analysis of plant invasiveness and impact of invasions on native communities
  • body size evolution and evolution of life-history strategies
  • diversity and adaptation of cryophilic (snow) algae
  • ecology, evolution and phylogeography of zooplankton, especially cryptic species of the genus Daphnia
  • factors determining diversity of plankton in small and temporary waters
  • analysis of ecosystem productivity and its relationship to global distribution of bird diversity
  • research of recovery of mountain lakes after acidification caused by acid rains
  • ecological and evolutionary consequences of interspecific hybridization in animals (in cladocerans and birds)
  • function and variability of songs in selected bird species

Other web pages are devoted to more detailed information about ongoing research projects projects of our department.

And what about our most significant findings?

  • detection of predator aggregation as a key characteristics of successful biological regulators of pests in greenhouses
  • simplification of laboratory procedures enabling predictions of pest prevalence by developmental rate isomorphy of particular developmental stages
  • demonstration of the role of nature reserves in resistance against plant invasions
  • contribution to understanding of evolutionary causes leading to invariant clutch size
  • formulation of biogeographic model predicting global distribution of biodiversity in bird species
  • documentation of the importance of tropical mountains as areas generating and preserving biodiversity of various animal groups (birds or cladocerans)
  • contributions to understanding of key relationships among environmental productivity, population sizes and biodiversity in birds
  • finding that we can explain most of general macroecological phenomena by a simple geometric model assuming hierarchical structure of habita
  • tanalysis of distribution and impact of crayfish plague endangering native European species of crayfish
  • detection of ecological processes enabling formation of hybrid zones in zooplankton
  • discovery of morphological antipredatory structures of cladocerans of the genus  Daphnia and their role in defence against predators from ephemeral water bodies

See list of all papers published in scientific journal with impact factor and selection of prestigious publications.
(some of them describe the above mentioned findings).


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