The course Forest Ecology deals with physical-chemical determinants of productivity and regeneration of terrestrial systems. Here attention is paid on mechanisms, process control and effects of environmental factors on individuals and communities as well as availability and use of resources, in particular water, nutrients, salinity and climatic factors in the tropics.
The course is split into the subject categories: Ecology and Climate
The first part of the lectures addresses the causality of biological diversity: Evolution and co-evolution of the populations and communities, demographic processes and interactions as well as regulation in food webs. Additionally, ecosystem functions and their dynamics are discussed, such as development of ecosystems (successions); biodiversity and ecosystem functions; spatial patterns and functional diversity of landscapes.
The second part of the lectures focuses on climate, which means water and radiation as controlling factors of ecological processes; spatial-temporal variability of climatic factors and their interrelationship with ecosystems in the tropics. Forests are considered as a source and sink of atmospheric transports. Here, changes of the water and energy balance resulting from alterations in use are covered as well as their effects on climate.