During the past decades, Plathelminthes have no longer been in the focus of soil zoological research. They may play a minor role due to their lower abundances and biomass compared to other soil animal groups (Acari, Collembola, Lumbricidae / mites, springtails and earthworms). On the other hand, they predate on Nematoda, Thecamoeba, Rotatoria, etc. and thus are an important element within soil food webs. Their ecological relevance is still poorly investigated. The Plathelminthes section in the Soil Zoology Division investigates this group of soil animals, especially their systematics, distribution and ecology, and develops methods to extract them quantitatively from various substrates. In addition, our research interest focuses on micromorphology, functional biology and phylogeny of Plathelminthes.
Our work is associated with the field of research Long-term Ecosystem Dynamics and Biodiversity Conservation