Applied and Trophic Ecology
Our work addresses the ecology of animals in natural and managed ecosystems and the role these organisms play in providing ecosystem services. We seek to understand mechanisms governing the structure and functioning of natural communities through integration of molecular techniques and stable isotope analysis with laboratory and field experiments. A major objective is the analysis of food web interactions. Current work explores, for example, food web structure and dynamics in pioneer communities within Alpine glacier forelands or how generalist predators respond to invasive earthworms. Other work addresses how plant diversity affects the dietary choices of soil-dwelling insect pests in Central Europe or whether the roots of exotic grasses sustain the larvae of endangered moths in Australia. DNA-based techniques also provide a powerful means to identify soil invertebrates, the basis to answer questions on biodiversity/species-identity effects for soil formation or plant protection. Our research is embedded in collaborative projects with scientists from several European countries, the USA, Peru, Nepal and Australia.
- Michael Traugott, Dr. PD Associate Professor (Head)
- Anita Juen, Dr.
- Johannes Oehm, Mag.
- Lorna Raso, MSc.
- Anett Richter, Dr. (maternity leave)
- Julia Seeber, Dr. (see -> Soil Ecology Group)
- Daniela Sint, Dr.
- Karin Staudacher, Dr.
- Daniela Straube, Dipl.Biol.
- Bettina Thalinger, MMMag.
- Corinna Wallinger, Dr.
- Zhengpei Ye, MSc.
Maria Rammer, Sandra Sequani, Eva-Maria Steiner, Daniela Zott
Our 5 latest papers
Traugott M, Kamenova S, Ruess L, Seeber J, Plantegenest M. (2013): Empirically characterizing trophic networks: what DNA-based methods, stable isotope and fatty acid analyses offer. Advances in Ecological Research 49, 177-224.
Staudacher K., Schallhart N., Thalinger B., Wallinger C., Juen A. & Traugott M. (2013): Plant diversity affects behavior of generalist root herbivores, reduces crop damage, and enhances crop yield. Ecological Applications 23, 1135-1145.
Balmer O., Pfiffner L., Schied J., Willareth M., Leimgruber A., Luka H. & Traugott M. (2013): Non-crop flowering plants restore top-down herbivore control in agricultural fields. Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.1002/ece3.658.
Waldner T., Sint D., Juen A. & Traugott M. (2013): The effect of predator identity on post-feeding prey DNA detection success in soil-dwelling macro-invertebrates. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 63, 116-123.
Eitzinger B., Micic A., Körner M., Traugott M. & Scheu S. (2013): Unveiling soil food web links: New PCR assays for detection of prey DNA in the gut of soil arthropod predators. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 57, 943-945.
- Litter decomposition and humus formation in high alpine soils
Julia Seeber (PI) and Michael Traugott
- Impact of biotic invasion on food web interactions: Tracking predation on native and invasive earthworms by molecular techniques
Daniela Straube and Anita Juen (PI)
- Indigenous natural enemies of the invading maize pest Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)
Anita Juen (PI)
- Invertebrate food webs in recently deglaciated alpine areas
Daniela Sint, Lorna Raso, Rüdiger Kaufmann (co-PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)
- The feeding ecology of cormorants
Johannes Oehm, Bettina Thalinger, Andreas Zitek, Thomas Prohaska and Michael Traugott (PI)
- APPEAL: Assessment and valuation of Pest suppression potential through biological control in European Agricultural Landscapes
Mattias Jonsson (coordinator & PI), Josef Settele (PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)
- The importance of natural enemy diversity and food-web structure for biological control
Mattias Jonsson (PI), Cory Straub, Barbara Ekbom and Michael Traugott
- Agricultural intensification and aphid-parasitoid food webs
Zhengpei Ye, Ines Vollhardt (PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)
- Feeding ecology of an endangered Australian moth
Anett Richter, Will Osborne (PI) and Michael Traugott (co-PI)
- Sustainable potato pest management in the Hindukush-Himalaya region
Johannes Oehm, Bettina Thalinger and Michael Traugott (PI)