Settled between oakes and beeches of the “Biospährenreservat Pfälzer Wald”, the 36 m high “biosphere-tower” provides access to the remote part of the forest: the forest canopy. It is designated to the research of biodiversity and climate change of this hidden biosphere with special focus on epiphytic microorganisms and cryptogams. This is an interdisciplinary project between the faculty of architecture and our department and was funded by the “Stiftung Rheinland Pfalz für Innovation” and the TU Kaiserslautern.
Contact: A. Fischer-Pardow
Cryo Scanning Electron Microscope
Cryoscopy is a special preparation technique for electron microscopy. It provides the possibility to analyze samples that would be unstable under high vacuum conditions, like liquids or fully turgescent plant cells. Our CryoREM was established in 2010; for chemical and elemental analyses, it is combined with an energy dispersive x-ray detector.
Sample analysis and availability on request.
Contact: C. Colesie
Culture collection of cyanobacteria
Our collection of cyanobacteria comprises about 250 strains of mostly terrestrial cyanobacteria. Most of them are cultured unialgal. Some are also in axenic cultures. One main focus aims at the taxa of the order Pleurocapsales, in particular the unicellular genus Chroococcidiopsis, where strains from hypolithic, endolithic and epilithic habitats as well as isolated photobionts from lichens are available.
Single strains are available on request.
Herbarium - Collection of cyanobacterial lichens
Our herbarium collection comprises about 3000 samples of cyanobacterial lichens from tundras, temperate regions, Mediterranean regions, deserts, semi-derserts, savannas and rain forests from all continents but in different proportions. A number of new species of cyanolichens have been described from that material, and isotypes are present in the herbarium.
Leaf-cutting ant lab colonies
Lab colonies of several species of leaf-cutting ants (Atta and Acromyrmex spp.) are provisioned in a fully climatized room of the university’s Animal House (building 25). These colonies serve as study organisms for ongoing research activities on (i) ant foraging behaviour, (ii) the role of plant defence in food plant selection, and (iii)chemical biology of microbial symbionts and antagonists in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens (follow this link for further details).
Lab colony of the Central American species Atta colombica in a dual-choice feeding assay with Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus). Foto: R. Wirth