Project groups


Climate-induced shifts in species distributions are dependent on dispersal and habitat colonization capacities of taxa. However, dispersal and colonization are rarely investigated in European limnic systems. This project therefore aims to establish dispersal distances of freshwater macroinvertebrate taxa, out of existing, as well as newly collected phylogeographic, experimentally-based and macroecological datasets, e.g. from the reconstruction of postglacial recolonization routes and distances, exposure of artificial brooks and drainage ditches in the landscape, calculation of the recolonization potential out of habitat rehabilitation analyses (e.g. Sundermann et al. 2011 Ecol. Appl.). The determined dispersal distances will then be related to functional traits using species trait analyses. Parallel to this, the dependency of colonization success of the model organisms on physicochemical and hydromorphological stream variables will be tested, for which a dataset for Germany of several thousand survey sites is available. In addition, an experimental approach (multifactorial design and community approach) will be used on a subset of the species and selected colonization parameters in artificial flow channels, to confirm or refute the interdependency of colonization success and environmental conditions. The determined species dispersal distances and parameters for successful colonization will be integrated into species distribution models, honing the validity of the models. 


Rosset, V., Simaika, J.P., Arthaud, F., Bornette, G., Samways, M.J., Oertli, B. & D. Vallod (2013) : Comparative assessment of scoring methods to evaluate the conservation value of pond and small lake biodiversity. - Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 23: 23-36.

Simaika, J.P. & M.J. Samways (2012) : Advances in monitoring and prioritizing riverine habitats for conservation using biotic indices. - Organisms Diversity and Evolution 12: 251-259.

Simaika, J.P., Samways, M.J., Kipping, J., Suhling, F., Dijkstra, K.B., Clausnitzer, V., Boudot, J. & S. Domisch (2013) : Continental-scale conservation prioritization of African dragonflies. - Biological Conservation 157: 245–254.

Sundermann, A., Stoll, S. & P. Haase (2011) : River restoration success depends on the species pool of the immediate surroundings. - Ecological Applications 21: 1962-1971.