Collection, Cultivation, Experimental Systems

University of Salzburg

Salzburg | Website

Core facility (CF)

Short Description

Experimental ecology requires experiments to be conducted under controlled conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity, light intensity and cycles). This is accomplished using 2 large climate control chambers, climate-controlled cabinets, and to climatized rooms in the aquarium house.
Experimental containers range from multiple 650 L mesocosms, to aquariums and terrariums with 5 – 20 L volumes, and to linked microcosms 50 – 200 mL in volume. Sampling gear (plankton nets, whole-water samplers, sediment corers) are utilized to obtain field samples to be used in the lab facilities. Measuring devices (light sensors, microelectrodes, multiparmeter sondes, flow meters, GPS trackers) is used to determine the conditions in the field and lab. With the use of microscopes, (inverted, epifluorescence, binocular) and their attached cameras it is possible to prepare organisms for experiments and to identify and analyze samples from the field and lab.

Contact Person

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Berninger

Research Services

Experiments in meso- and microcosms
Culturing ciliates, algae and metazoan zooplankton
Using model metacommunities to examine adaptation to environmental changes (e.g. temperature and nutrient regimes)
Climate Change research in aquatic and terrestrial habitats
Evolutionary processes in ecological time scales

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The core facility "Collection, Cultivation, Experimental Systems is central for many of the core competencies of the department. Several of the current member of the department are oriented towards aquatic ecology, and work experimentally, as will the incoming members of the department working in the context of zoological evolutionary biology.
In order to conduct replicated, statistically robust experiments, there is a need for controlled environmental conditions and relatively large areas (2 – 20 m2). This is also true for work with model communities of micro- and mesoplantkon organisms (e.g. when working with metacommunities). Isolating and maintaining sufficiently large numbers of organisms for research and teaching (bachelor and master’s level, as well as courses in the School of Education) requires climate chambers and cabinets with finely controlled temperature and illumination. Experiments require the cultivation of the target species in sufficiently large numbers, as do experiments as part of laboratory courses in the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Berninger
Fachbereich Biowissenschaften
0043 662 8044 5647
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History or ecology? Substrate type as a major driver of spatial genetic structure in Alpine plants
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Ecology Letters 12(7), 632-640.

Allopolyploid origins of the Galeopsis tetraploids ─ revisiting Müntzing’s classical textbook example using molecular tools
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Plant speciation in continental island floras as exemplified by Nigella in the Aegean Archipelago
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Frequent but asymmetric niche shifts in Bulbophyllum orchids supportenvironmental and climatic instability in Madagascar over Quaternary time scales
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Multiple independent origins of auto-pollination in tropical orchids (Bulbophyllum) in light of the hypothesis of selfing as an evolutionary dead end
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Long-distance plant dispersal to North Atlantic islands: colonization routes and founder effect
Greve Alsos, I., Ehrich, D., Bronken Eidesen, P., Solstad, H., Bakke Westergaard, K., Schönswetter, P., Tribsch, A., Birkeland, S., Reidar Elven, R., Brochmann, Ch.
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Genetic consequences of climate change for northern plants
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