Broadly viewed, my main research interests are centered on global change and its consequences. The ongoing man-made changes in components of the Earth's biodiversity, ecosystems and their functions cause a strong potential to alter ecosystem properties and the goods and services they provide to humanity. Currently I am dealing with the impacts of biological invasions on species interaction, community composition and ecosystem functioning.
Feedback between plants and soil biota in invaded ruderal plant communities
Displayed are the biotic interactions of an introduced invasive plant species and a native competitor. Below- and aboveground interactions may affect each with different extent, contributing to plant's overall performance and its competitive ability within a community.
Further, I investigate whether certain plant functional traits (e.g. nutrient uptake strategy, growth form, floral display) within plant communities and functional diversity in general affect community resistance to invasion.
Typical ruderal plant community on an abandoned field in Berlin.
Schittko C, Forstreuter M, Wurst S (20??). Linking species invasions to environmental change: consequences of elevated temperature and soil compaction on composition and biodiversity of an urban plant community. (in preparation).
Schittko C, Runge C, Strupp M, Wolff S, Wurst S. (20??). No evidence that plant-soil feedback effects of native and invasive plant species under greenhouse conditions are reflected in the field. Journal of Ecology, (accepted).
Guo X,Petermann JS , Schittko C, and Wurst S (2016). Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne hapla) can modify the positive plant intraspecific diversity-productivity effect on red clover in clover-grass communities. Applied Soil Ecology, 102: 26-35.
Guo X, Petermann J, Schittko C, and Wurst S (2015). Independent roles of belowground organisms and plant cultivar diversity in legume-grass communities. Applied Soil Ecology, 95: 1-8.
Schittko C, Wurst S (2014). Above- and belowground effects of plant-soil feedback from exotic Solidago canadensis on native Tanacetum vulgare. Biological Invasions, 16(7): 1465-479.
Schittko C, Hawa M, Wurst S (2014). Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment. PloS one, 9(6). p.e99065.