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Department Head: 

Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein
phone:+49 (0)761 203-67770



Mrs. Ilona Winkler
phone:+49 (0)761 203-3635
fax:+49 (0)761 203-3638


Chair of Nature Conservation
& Landscape Ecology
University of Freiburg
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D-79106 Freiburg




Mowing of meadows and plant-insect-interaction

Influence of different meadow management regimes

on plant-insect interactions 





Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein (University Freiburg)

Prof. Dr. Yvonne Oelmann (UniversityTübingen)

Dr. Stefanie Gärtner (Black forest National Park)

PhD student Maria Georgi

Project duration:

1. June 2016 -  May 2019

2. January  2020 - September 2020


1. State Graduate Funding:

Scholarships as per the State Law on Graduate Funding


2. FAZIT -Foundation of the FAZ



This project will study the impact of different management regimes on the diversity of bees and butterflies and their trophic interaction networks. This is important because the elimination of even one specialized species in a trophic network can lead to a decline in ecosystem function. Within the project the impact of mowing on three different ecosystem functions will be investi-gated: pollination, parasitism and herbivory.

We will investigate (a) the impact of mowing on diversity, specialization and stability of insects visiting flowers (especially Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera), (b) the effects of mowing on the diversity, specialization and stability of above ground solitary nesting bees and wasps and their  interactions with their natural antagonists in trap nests and (c) the influence of mowing on the diversity, specialization and stability of the interactions between caterpillars, their host plants and their natural antagonists. Additionally the meadow vegetation will be recorded.

Field Equipment


It is expected that different management regimes (mowing in either June or September versus mowing in both June and September) will result in different plant-insect interactions. We assume that early mowing once a year will have the least influence on the plant-insect interactions.


The field experiment will be carried out on wild animal grazing grounds in the Black Forest National Park. The National Park will provide support over the length of the project. When the Black Forest National Park was founded in 2014 it made a unique opportunity available to identify the insect groups and vegetation on the meadows in their present condition and to document their future development. 

Once the field plots are established they can continue to be used for long-term monitoring of the meadows after the PhD (and several Bachelor and Master Theses) studying various organ-ism groups.

The established field experiment not only enables us to determine the abundance of species influenced by different management regimes, but also to assess whether the ecosystem functions are affected by different management regimes.




  • Georgi, M., Gärtner, S.M., Förschler, M.I., Buse, J., Fornoff, F., Ssymank, A. & Klein, A.M. (2023): Mulching time of forest meadows influences insect diversity. Insect Conservation and Diversity. online first. doi: 10.1111/icad.12629. Link
  • Georgi, M., Fornoff, F., Gärtner, S.M., Neitzel, S., Geist, A. & Klein, A.M. (2022): Timing and mulching frequency affected the number of nests of cavity-nesting wasps that hunt for aphids in forest meadows. Journal of Insect Conservation 26: 973-981. Link
  • Buse, J., Eckerter, T., Eichenseer, P., Förschler, M.I., Oelmann, Y. & M. Georgi (2018): Conservation value of small meadows in a forest-dominated landscape assessed for ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Angewandte Carabidologie 12: 49-56. Link
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