Research of the Botany section

Our peatland research on Southwestern German bogs deals both with modern-day vegetation and vegetational history. There is a long tradition of such research at our museum dating back to E. Oberdorfer's work on the Schluchsee area, which commenced in 1929. From the 1950s onward, Oberdorfer's work was continued by G. Lang, mainly in the Black Forest and the area of Lake Constance. Since 1976, A. Hölzer has pursued these studies using updated techniques. A laboratory was established to analyze geochemical traces of the peat. The study of macrofossils (sometimes comprising 90% of the peat) was intensified.

Identifying of the mosses preserved in peat takes a great deal of experience with today's flora. Furthermore, the mosses' ecological requirements are fundamental to interpreting the data of the historical flora. Since peat bogs largely consist of the remains of Sphagnum moss, this group had to be studied in detail. Thus, a work plan emerged to map the peat mosses of the entire Southwestern Germany region.

Our mycology research studies the ecology and distribution of native fungi with emphasis on mushrooms of urban areas. This includes a survey of the fungus flora of Karlsruhe and its change over time; this work is done in collaboration with the “Fungi workgroup” of the Natural History Society Karlsruhe.

In addition to these local studies, taxonomic and phylogenetic research focuses on rust fungi and mildew fungi. The distribution and spread of obligate phytoparasitic fungi is examined. Introduced species (Neomycetes) and their influence on host plants are of special interest.

Oberdorfer at Schluchsee (1929)
Oberdorfer at Schluchsee (1929)
Coring at Seewadel (Hegau, 1990)
Coring at Seewadel (Hegau, 1990)
Pollen sample
Pollen sample
Subfossil leaf of cranberry
Subfossil leaf of cranberry
Subfossil seed of reed mace
Subfossil seed of reed mace
Subfossil moss (Meesia triquetra)
Subfossil moss (Meesia triquetra)
Eschengrundmoos
Eschengrundmoos