Emmy Noether Group Invasionbiology

The phenomenon of alien species’ invasion is attracting a growing attention worldwide. Invasion of alien benthic invertebrates is a global and important feature of large rivers and is assumed to pose a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. While changes of invertebrate communities have been described in detail, it is still unknown whether these structural changes translate into functional changes. The aim of this project is to understand the underlying key mechanisms of invasion and its consequences for ecosystem functioning and water–quality relevant processes.

PI Dr. Carola Winkelmann
Researchers Dr. Claudia Hellmann, Dr. Susanne Worischka, Jochen Becker
Technician Christian Sodemann

First Results


First results indicate that D. villosus is less predatious than previously expected becaus its trophic position in the River Elbe is more similar to a primary consumer than to a strict predator. In addition, throphic position of D. villosus seems to be river-specific or at least site-specific. For more information see Hellman et al. 2016.