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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-04-01 - 2024-08-31

The Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra), hereafter referred to as chamois, is considered a flagship species of the alpine and montane regions of Europe, which can react quite sensitively to habitat changes. Negative population trends of this species in many regions of Europe are attributed to a variety of factors. Anthropogenic disturbances, climatic changes but also interspecific competition for the resource "space" are defined as essential influencing factors. The needs of chamois such as security, rest or food availability shape the habitat selection of this species. In this respect, studies have shown that chamois can react very sensitively to red deer or grazing cattle and spatially avoid areas that are used by more competitive (wild) ruminants. Such competitive situations can have a negative impact on the availability of high-quality grazing sites from the chamois' point of view. The absence of appropriate grazing opportunities can lead to lower fawn growth, lower weights of female chamois and their young before winter, and thus increased winter mortality. Fawn weight at birth in the following year may also be negatively affected by the lack of suitable grazing. Although several studies have already dealt with interactions between chamois and one or the other (wild) ruminant species, there is a lack of investigations in areas where more than two ruminant species compete for the resource "space". For this reason, the present project aims to investigate spatial competition between Alpine chamois, red deer, roe deer, ibex, and grazing cattle in the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern Salzburg. Wildlife cameras will be used to analyse interactions between these species within the study site. Results from this project will contribute to a better understanding of the habitat selection of Alpine chamois and thus to the management and conservation of this species in Central Europe.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-03-01 - 2018-12-31

The von Bertalanffy equation was developed in the 1940s and has since been the almost universal biologically motivated model to describe the ontogenetic growth of different species; it is characterized by the metabolic exponents a = 2/3, b = 1. West et al. (1997, 2001) suggested another pair of metabolic exponents (a = 2/3, b = 1) and provided biological reasoning for this choice. This project proposes biological reasoning for yet two other exponent pairs based on the ideas of Bertalanffy and West about metabolism and on a model of Parks (1982) about the dependency of growth on food intake.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-05-01 - 2025-04-30

The project MORGENTAU strip cropping is an agricultural innovation project in Hofkirchen im Traunkreis, which is implemented by three organic farmers together with the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and the Research Institute HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein. The aim of the project is to create an arable farming system with "strip cropping", which meets the challenges of the current regional and global problems in the area of the decline of biodiversity, the decline of soil fertility and the increase in weather extremes. Unlike monoculture farming, MORGENTAU strip cropping involves growing multiple crops within the same field in contiguous strips. Each crop is "moved on" to the adjacent strip each year. This form of land management increases the resilience and stability of the production system and provides a much more diverse and attractive habitat for a variety of insects and other wildlife. The project will investigate how strip cropping can be implemented in practice and what effects occur in terms of yield and quality of the harvested products, health of the plants, biodiversity on the field and resilience of the system.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations