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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Diploma Thesis

GIS-basierte Analyse der Landnutzungsgeschichte zur Erklärung der räumlichen Muster von "Remnant Plant Populations", Nördliche Frankenalb

Jonathan Heubes (12/2006-06/2007)

Support: Vroni Retzer, Sebastian Schmidtlein, Carl Beierkuhnlein

Introduction & Motivation:

With the beginning of the Neolithic times human activities caused an increase of land-use and phytodiversity in Central Europe which attained the highest level in the mid-19th century. From that period onwards changes in land-use management have caused a decrease in biodiversity. Concerning the maintenance of biodiversity
which is a national goal of Germany since the Rio-conference 1992, there is a focus on seminatural grasslands since they represent one of the most species-rich habitats worldwide. In the „Nördliche Frankenalb“ there was a decline of semi-natural grasslands mainly because of afforestation activities (Pinus sylvestris) in the beginning of the 20th century. Most studies investigating the effects of loss in biodiversity due to land-use change focus on spatial effects such as fragmentation. There is a lack of temporal population development studies
although population inertia is a far known phenomenon. A case study in the „Nördliche Frankenalb“ was performed to analyse the ability of focal semi-natural grassland species to build up remnant plant populations and thus to persist under deteriorating circumstances due to land-use change.

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