14.03.2023: Orsolya VALKÓ (Centre for Ecol. Res., Hungary): The role of vertebrate ecosystem engineers in the vegetation dynamics of dry grasslands, HS 32.01, Institut für Biologie, Bereich für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Holteigasse 6, 18:00 Uhr.
Ecosystem engineer organisms alter the local environment in a way that they create and maintain habitats or microhabitats for other organisms. The engineered patches are characterised by different structure and functioning compared to the surrounding habitats. In this presentation I would like to show the complex relationships between vertebrate engineers and the grasslands they live in, using examples from rodents (Steppe Marmot, Lesser Blind Mole-Rat) and birds (Eurasian Crane). I show the importance of these animals in shaping the vegetation dynamics and creating establishment gaps for various plant species in dry grasslands of Eurasia.