Project groups


Many plant and animal species produce seeds and resting eggs. This allows these organisms to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions or enables or facilitates transport to other habitats. Several aquatic organisms are known for their ability to produce resting eggs that can survive dehydration and low temperatures even for several decades. We take advantage of this phenomenon to reveal how organisms adapt phenotypically and genetically to changing temperature regimes.

Studies of current populations relay on a comparison of populations along temperature gradients. In contrast, studying ancient populations by reanimating resting eggs will allow us to compare individuals that never experienced higher temperature levels, with individuals from current populations. This innovative approach will allow us to identify the mechanisms underlying adaptation, thus providing a basis for developing scenarios of future climate change.


Nicole Henning, Ph.D. student
Maike Herrmann, Ph.D. student


Arnaud J.-F., Fénart, S., Cordellier, M. & J.Cuguen (2010) : Populations of weedy crop-wild hybrids show contrasting variation in mating system and population genetic structure. - Evolutionary Applications 3: 305-318.

Brede, N., Sandrock, C., Straile, D., Spaak, P., Jankowski, T., Streit B. & K. Schwenk (2009) : The impact of human-made ecological changes on the genetic architecture of Daphnia species. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. (PNAS) 106: 4758-4763.

Cordellier, M. & M. Pfenninger (2009) : Inferring the past to predict the future: climate modelling predictions and phylogeography for the freshwater gastropod Radix balthica (Pulmonata, Basommatophora). - Molecular Ecology, 18, 534-544.

Cordellier, M., Pfenninger, A., Streit, B. & M. Pfenninger (2012) : Assessing the effects of climate change on the distribution of pulmonate freshwater snail biodiversity. - Marine Biology, online first.

Krutschinna, J. & B. Streit (2009) : The biodiversity network BioFrankfurt: An innovative strategic approach for integrative research, conservation, and education. - BioRisk 3: 21-26.

Orsini, L., Schwenk, K., De Meester, L., Colbourne, J.K., Pfrender, M.E. & L.J. Weider (2013) : The evolutionary time machine: using dormant propagules to forecast how populations can adapt to changing environments. - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 274-282.

Petrusek, A., Tollrian, R., Schwenk, K., A. Haas, A. & C. Laforsch (2009) : A “Crown of thorns” protects Daphnia against an ancient predator: an exceptional inducible defense discovered by phylogenetic analysis. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. (PNAS) 106: 2248-2252.

Petrusek, A., Thielsch, A. & K. Schwenk (2012) : Mitochondrial sequence variation suggests extensive cryptic diversity within the Western Palearctic Daphnia longispina complex. - Limnology and Oceanography 57: 1838-1845.

Schwenk, K., Brede, N. & B. Streit (2008) : Extent, processes and evolutionary impact of interspecific hybridization in animals. - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: 363: 2805-2811.

Schwenk, K. (2010) : Biologische Archive - oder der Wasserfloh als Zeitzeuge. - Natur und Museum 140: 248-251.

Seidendorf, B., Meier, N., Petrusek, A., Boersma, M., Streit, B. & K. Schwenk (2010) : Sensitivity of Daphnia species to phosphorus-deficient diets. - Oecologia 162:349–357.

Streit, B., Böhning-Gaese, K. & V. Mosbrugger (2011) : Biodiversität und Klima: Wandel in vollem Gange! Eine globale Herausforderung und ein Forschungszentrum. - Biologie in unserer Zeit 41(4): 248-255; DOI: 10.1002/biuz.201110455.

Streit, B. : Störfaktor Mensch. Bedeutung und Gefährdung von Biodiversität. - Ökologie und Politik. Heft 109: Biodiversität - Vom Reden zum Handeln. oekom verlag, München. 16-19.

Thielsch, A., Brede, N. , Petrusek, A., De Meester, L. & K. Schwenk (2009) : Contribution of cyclic parthenogenesis and colonization history of populations to population structure in Daphnia. - Molecular Ecology 18: 1616–1628.

Thielsch, A., Volker, E., Kraus, R.H. & K. Schwenk (2012) : Discrimination of hybrid classes using cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci: methodological challenges and solutions in Daphnia. - Molecular Ecology Resources 12: 697-705.

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