Gradients and biodiversity: flora, fauna and vegetation(brez)
Project Executive on ZRCAsst. Prof. Matjaž Kuntner, PhD
CollaboratorsAsst. Prof. Matjaž Kuntner, PhD, Tatjana Čelik, PhD, Igor Dakskobler, PhD, , , , Tjaša Lokovšek, BA, Tjaša Lokovšek, BA, , Urban Šilc, PhD, Branko Vreš, PhD, Branko Vreš, PhD
Durationsince January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2012
The program deals with sampling and analysis of biological objects (flora, fauna and vegetation), the causes for their diversity and their changes along different gradients. Gradient analyses focus on only one important factor and sample or arrange data in the direction of the gradient from the minimum towards the maximum or vice versa: research objects are presented as a whole changing along this gradient. With this methodology, direct gradient analysis, objects are related directly to the studied/known factor, which enables a clear explanation of the orientation of the studied objects within a specific gradient. The results are processed also with multivariate (several factors together), univariate analyses (correlations of various factors) and different cluster analyses (comparison with typology). With these analyses it is determined which factor provides the best description of the studied objects and eventual separate groups (types) are examined. The key question is a) how the studied objects are arranged along the gradient (continued versus discontinued), b) which gradients best describe the studied object and c) whether clearly separated groups (types) can be found within the gradients.
We are dealing with three basic levels of research: genetic, species and ecosystem levels.
- Genetic research deals with taxa (species and lower or higher taxonomic categories); we are conducting above all taxonomic, population-ecological, ethological, genetic and phylogenetic researches. The objects are selected taxa ((sub)species, genera, families), mostly the endangered-, indicator-, umbrella- or evolutionally significant taxa.
- Regarding the species composition we are dealing above all with biocoenoses (phytocoenoses and zoocoenoses); the research is ecological and biogeographical (phytogeographical and zoogeographical). The objects are selected species, their characteristics, syntaxa and habitat types.
- Ecosystem research is focused on the landscape; the researches conducted are ecological, biogeographical and landscape. Objects are selected areas.
Various abiotic factors are studied (geographic, climatic, soil, temporal), as well as relationships between species (competition and coexistence) and human impact.