Projects & theses on effects of fungicide contamination

With great wine comes great responsibility! Therefore, the working group “Quantitative Landscape Ecology” offers several projects/theses in a DFG-funded field study analysing effects of fungicide contamination on fungal communities and microbial leaf decomposition.

Vineyards adjacent to a small stream (photo by K. Voss)

Palatinate is home to many great wines and features a unique landscape with the Palatinate Forest as the largest contiguous forest in Germany. Within this forest, many small streams originate, which then discharge through countless vineyards. However, wine production implies the intense use of fungicides that may enter the streams and exert negative effects on the decomposition of allochthonous leaf material.

In this field study, we will analyse the temporal dynamics of the fungal community and the microbial leaf decomposition in small streams from the pre-fungicide application period to the peak application period. Students can choose between the following topics:

1. Survey of leaf decomposition in small streams

2. Identification of microbial communities on leaves

3. Survey and identification of macroinvertebrates (prior knowledge in identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates would be helpful)

4. Assessing pesticide exposure using event-driven and passive samplers

The topics can be investigated in the scope of a Project Uwi, Research Project Course, AMEO, BSc thesis or MSc thesis. The start date is flexible.

Please contact us if you are interested or have any questions:

Moritz Link ( and Verena Schreiner (