Melanie Chisté

Melanie Chisté, M.Sc.

+49 6151 16-75413

Schnittspahnstraße 3
64287 Darmstadt

Raum: B1|01 261

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Project: STOICHIO

Land-use effects on plant–herbivore stoichiometry: micro- and macronutrients

Environment is altered by humans ever since. The huge demographic growth on the world needs an ever-growing food production, but currently agricultural land use is the major reason for biodiversity loss and species extinction. With my project I want to understand the factors that influence the stability and plasticity of ecosystems in the presence of land use such as mowing, grazing or fertilization. Scientists have already shown that fertilization intensity strongly increases concentrations of macronutrients like N and P in the soil and plants. The goal is to investigate the ability to regulate the oversupply or lack of nutrients and relate it to species' distribution and community composition of herbivorous insects in grasslands. Therefore differently managed agriculturally used grassland plots in three parts of Germany function as sampling areas. Additional performance experiments will show how herbivores manage different nutrient concentrations in their food or how herbivores from different habitats perform in a common garden experiment.

To link herbivores with their host plants this project is a cooperation with Verena Busch (PhD student) and PD Dr. Till Kleinebecker at the University of Münster. They will focus on soil nutriens and nutrient regulation and homeostasis in plants and conduct the elemental analyses (http://www.uni-muenster.de/Oekosystemforschung/forschung/stoichio.html).

The project is part of the Biodiversity Exploratories, a long-term and large-scale German research network that focuses on land use effects on biodiversity and is funded by DFG (http://www.biodiversity-exploratories.de/startseite/)

Since 2014: PhD student at the department ecological networks (Prof. Dr. Nico Blüthgen), TU Darmstadt, Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Nico Blüthgen, PD Dr. Karsten Mody

2011 – 2014: Master student, Molecular Ecology, Master thesis at the department of population ecology (Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar), University of Bayreuth

2008 – 2011: Bachelor student, Biology, Bachelorthesis at the department of animal ecology (Prof. Dr. Konrad Dettner), University of Bayreuth

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