Functional Ecology Lab

News & Events

New paper: Fire-related germination and seedling growth in Central Anatolian steppe

Our paper on fire-related germination and seedling growth in Central Anatolian steppe has been published in Journal of Arid Environments: [Tavşanoğlu, Ç., Çatav, Ş.S., Özüdoğru, B. (2015) Fire-related germination and early seedling growth in 21 herbaceous species in Central Anatolian steppe. Journal of Arid Environments 122: 109-116]. In this paper, we examined the germination and early seedling growth of 21 herbaceous species in Central Anatolian steppe vegetation in relation to fire cues (heat shock and smoke).

Seeds of all studied species were able to tolerate low heat shocks but moderate and high heat shocks had a negative impact on germination and seedling growth.  In Stachys byzantina (Lamiaceae), germination was stimulated by the smoke treatment. Smoke and low heat shocks positively affected the seedling vigor index of six taxa: Diplotaxis tenuifolia (Brassicaceae), Reseda lutea (Resedaceae) in low heat shock treatments; Crepis foetida ssp. rhoedafolia, Crupina crupinastrum (Asteraceae), Daucus carota (Apiaceae) and Sanguisorba minor (Rosaceae) in the smoke treatment.

The results suggest that the seeds of plant species in Central Anatolian steppes are resistant to low-intensity surface fires, but not high-intensity crown fires and that some species take advantage from surface fires. Our results contribute to understanding the role of fire in temperate grassland ecosystems, relatively less studied ecosystem type in relation to fire worldwide. Moreover, our study is the first one conducted in biodiversity-rich Anatolian steppe ecosystems with a fire ecology perspective.

Elif successfully defended her MSc thesis

Elif Deniz Ülker, our lab member, successfully defended her MSc thesis after an impressive presentation in Department of Biology at Hacettepe University on 10th June 2015. Her MSc study was about the effect of the Late Quaternary climate changes on the geographic distribution in Quercus robur (Pedunculate oak) and was supervised by Çağatay Tavşanoğlu and Utku Perktaş.

Ecology and Evolutionary Symposium Turkey 2015: registration open

EEBST-posterThe 2nd Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Symposium Turkey 2015 will be convening on August 6-7 2015 at METU, Ankara. Talks and poster presentations in all areas of evolutionary biology and ecology will be welcome. Presentations will be in English, and the Symposium will be open to international participation.

Resit Akcakaya (Stony Brook University), Sergey Gavrilets (University of Tennessee), Rasmus Nielsen (University of California, Berkeley), and Daniel Simberloff (University of Tennessee) are keynote speakers of the Symposium.

More information can be found at

The deadline for abstract submissions is May 15 while the registration closes on July 15.

The Workshop on Genomic Methods in Ecology and Evolution

07D_2098Three of our lab members, Çağatay, Deniz, and Elif participated in the Workshop on Genomic Methods in Ecology and Evolution, held on 7-8 Feb. 2015 in Mersin, Turkey.

The workshop organized by the Institute of Marine Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Mersin, and by the members of the Ecology and Evolution Network of Turkey. (more…)

FESP 2009 was held in Marmaris, Turkey

2nd International Meeting of Fire Effects on Soil Properties (FESP 2009) was held in Marmaris, Turkey by our team on 11-15 February 2009.


A total of 70 participants from 9 countries met to discuss the recent advances in the research of soil-fire relationships in Marmaris.  During the first three days, 3 invited, 30 oral and 35 poster contributions were presented at the Meeting. The last day included a short trip to Pamukkale, Turkey.

A special section (edited by Ç. Tavşanoğlu and X. Úbeda) in the scientific journal Environmental Research was published, including a guest editorial and following six contributions in which presented at the Meeting.

You can access the abstract book following this link.