Chemical Ecology and Ecosystem Research (University of Vienna)


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My good friend Gunter NATTKAMPER (Gisaf) oriented me to the very interesting website of the Department of Chemical Ecology and Ecosystem Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna

where I found a page on the excellent work of Prof. Dr. Roland ALBERT on

“Osmotic Adaption of Halophytes and Desert Plants” :


Scientific issues are plants exposed to salinity and drought conditions: which special physiological features can be seen as preconditions for successfully coping with these two adverse environmental conditions? A central point is the pattern of osmotically active substances (ions, organic solutes), especially the occurrence of cytoplasmatic osmotica („compatible solutes“ such as betaines, sugar alcohols, some amino acids). On the one hand, representatives of these two ecological plant groups (desert plants, halophytes) are collected in their natural habitats and examined for their ion and solute patterns with respect to their special environmental and taxonomic position. On the other hand, roadside trees subjected to a combination of anthropogenic drought and salt stress are a second research focus: by measuring the delta 13C-values and inorganic ion contents in the stem cores and leaves, the influence of both the drought and the salinity stress can be differentiated. The expected results will be of great practical importance for the development of optimal therapeutical and preventive methods to save the endangered roadside trees in the center of our cities.

contact: Roland Albert

There are several other Research Topics within the Department !

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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