Arthropods are the largest group of organisms, with nearly one million described species. In central Europe, we focus namely on arthropods in the early succession stages and disclimax in human-altered habitats, and on groups of insects and other arthropods with high bioindicative potential (dragonflies, butterflies, ground beetles and necrophilous beetles). The primary focus in taxonomy is on diversity hotspots in Southeast Asia, namely China. Our research team has long-term experience in the following three topics:
1. Ecology and conservation of dragonflies and butterflies (Odonata, Lepidoptera), diversity of human-altered habitats (especially post-industrial areas), predator-prey interactions.
2. Ecology and biology of epigeic insects and other soil dwelling arthropods, including interactions with environmental conditions and plants (effects of temperature on development and activity, seed predation, parasitoidism, physiological adaptations).
3. Ecology, taxonomy and larval morphology of necrophilous beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinoidea) (carcass-emitted volatiles, attractiveness for beetles; taxonomy and species diversity in the eastern Palaearctic region).
Applied outcomes of our research and further potential applications of the research:
- Dragonflies, butterflies and carabid beetles are often used as indicators of habitat quality and changes in environmental conditions (e.g. management effectiveness evaluation, indications of anthropogenic inferences to the natural environment at the local, landscape and global scale).
- Necrophilous beetle ecology can be applied in forensic entomology (estimation of post-mortem interval, determination of habitat type etc.). Our research may also be directly applied to the development and innovation of insect and other arthropod collection and rearing methodologies
Bioindicators, human-altered habitats,dragonflies, butterflies, carabid beetles, taxonomy, necrophilous beetles