iFZ - Research on Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
People have strong ties to landscapes and use them in various ways. From a human perspective, many landscapes are being used more intensively than ever before in the history of earth, and more and more, landscapes are being used for more than one purpose. Any form of land use is coupled with specific benefits. The many facets of this insight are reflected in the term “multi-functionality”. When it comes to organizing land use systems and establishing sustainable agrarian production in particular, it is essential to understand the facts about the great variety of landscape functions and how they influence each other.
During evolution, organisms had to cope with a plethora of environmental cues. “Stress” caused by this situation required a multiplicity of new adaptation processes that evolved on the basis of complex molecular signalling networks and changing metabolic activities. Today, organisms have to adapt very quickly to manmade environmental changes such as eutrophication of natural ecosystems, reduced biodiversity and global temperature rise. IFZ researches into these complex mutual effects between organisms and their environment, and explores concepts to manage the detrimental events like desertification of arable land and progression of pathogens.
Insects represent the group of organisms with the highest biodiversity. The development of this diversity conincides with the aquirement of a huge arsenal of molecules securing their nutrition and enabling their defence against diseases. Using insects as resources for new molecules to be applied in medicine, in plant protection or industrial biotechnology is the core objective of insect biotechnology.