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Institute of Geobotany

Geobotany, as an ecological discipline, belongs to the expanding natural sciences, which are enjoying growing public interest. This development is accompanied by an increased interest in the biological and landscape ecology sub-disciplines.

At the same time, socio-political developments in the past have helped to focus attention on the special importance of ecosystem research as an essential basis for planning and management in terms of effective environmental protection policy.

Geobotany, as an ecological discipline, belongs to the expanding natural sciences, which are enjoying growing public interest. This development is accompanied by an increased interest in the biological and landscape ecology sub-disciplines.

At the same time, socio-political developments in the past have helped to focus attention on the special importance of ecosystem research as an essential basis for planning and management in terms of effective environmental protection policy.

GEOBOTANY – AN INTRODUCTION

  • Floristic geobotany

    Floristic geobotany, also referred to as areal science or chorology, examines the distribution of different plant species and plant communities in all habitats that can be colonized by plant organisms. Among other objectives, it searches for the climatic, soil-scientific, historical, and geographical reasons for the establishment of various distribution areas of individual species, biotic communities, or vegetation elements.

  • Historical geobotany

    Historical geobotany studies the historical development of vegetation elements in a continuum of space and time. Of central importance are questions of the origin, development, and alteration of natural and synanthropic vegetation forms.
    Object of study are plant remains preserved in adequate media, for example, seeds, fruits, wood tissues, plant fibers, wood charcoal derived from archeological excavations (paleo-ethnobotany), or other geological or biological archives, such as pollen deposits in bogs, inland water bodies, or ocean sediments (pollen analysis or palynology).

  • Sociological geobotany

    Sociological geobotany commits itself to the task of elucidating the social interactions among various species in plant communities. Apart from the analysis of their functional and structural assembly, the registration, identification, and classification of plant communities stand in the center of research.

  • Ecological geobotany

    Ecological geobotany analyzes the conditions for life under which various taxons and plant communities grow, how the individual organisms adapted themselves to the given local conditions, and the kind of survival strategies they pursue. The methodical diversity of this discipline also reflects the multitude of habitats which need to be investigated. The methods applied range, for example, from the most various hydrochemical and soil-chemical analysis techniques to a plethora of morphological tissue differentiation and analytical methods.

  • Applied geobotany

    In the field of applied geobotany, questions of landscape and environmental planning, agriculture and forestry as well as scientific nature conservation are particularly affected. Subject of investigation are both distinct biotope types and characteristic landscape and vegetation elements as well as relics of historical land use practices with special cultural and historical significance. Applied geobotany deals on a scientific level with the structural composition of such landscape elements and attempts to develop models that can serve as a planning basis for long-term conservation, protection or development concepts.

Hannover Science Initiative: Exceptional diversity – everything’s unique!

OUR LIBRARY

Since 1987 the Institute of Geobotany administers the scientific estate of Prof. Dr. Reinhold Tüxen. As an independent foundation library, one of the central archives for research on peatland is the Schneider Library. Further components of the library are the scientific bequests of Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Peveling (lichenological library) and Prof. Dr. Paul Seibert (mainly South America). The library is available as a non-lending library to all interested persons after prior registration in the office of the Institute of Geobotany.