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Ecosystem functions and services of nature

Natural habitats not only provide valuable habitats for (rare and endemic) animal and plant species, but also provide numerous ecosystem services for humans. For example, a forest is an important carbon sink, serves as erosion control, regulates the climate of an entire region, as well as the hydrological situation. In this working package, the team measured ecosystem functions and services provided by nature, based on an experimental approach (the REFA-protocol by Sebastian Meyer - TUM). For this purpose, the group measured the following proxies: pollinator activity, seed dispersal, and predation rates. These selected proxies are of high relevance for subsistence agriculture. The proxies were measured along gradients from forest interior, across forest margin and in adjoining agricultural land (as well as in tree plantations). This activity was mainly supervised by Jan C. Habel (PLUS), Mike Teucher (MLU) and Jonas Eberle (PLUS), in close collaboration with Tarekegn Fite (EBI). The following students were involved here: Stella Wimmer, Robert Michael Haas, Eddy Pälicke, Miriam Federspiel and Carolin Peters.