Group for biosystems research is devoted to understanding the diversity, variability and functioning of various biosystems, from cells to organism, from species to population, and from habitat to ecosystem. By conducting fundamental research and the assessment of the state of biosystems, the group gathers knowledge required for supporting ecosystem conservation and sustainability fostering the concept of agroecological intensification. Our research in general is oriented towards environmental monitoring, studying ecosystem services and suggesting management measures required for high-yield but sustainable agriculture.
Three main research directions performed at BioSense reflect main levels of biodiversity, namely the molecular, species and ecosystem levels. Species diversity research team investigates the richness of species that play important roles in an ecosystem, and particularly those valuable for or threatened by agriculture. Genetic research team studies the diversity on different taxonomical levels by using molecular markers, thus providing a tool for the analysis of the relationships within biosystems, while the Ecosystem research team monitors ecosystem variability to detect and understand changes driven by environmental influences. The team collects, analyzes and models data in order to suggest measures and activities relevant for an integrated ecosystem approach, including pest management, plant nutrient management and ecological intensification, which are of particular importance for sustainable agriculture.
Combining our expertise with the specific IT knowledge of other BioSense groups allows us to address a number of challenges. By using our large hoverfly database with spatial inventories of semi-natural habitat and their flower resources, we have developed the system for monitoring pollinators and pollination in agro-ecosystems of Vojvodina, as well as the system for automated insect identification based on their wing morphology. By analysing the relevance of forest and semi-natural ecosystems for the delivery of ecosystem services to the agriculture production, we maintain a database of land suitable for organic production and high nature value farming and forestry areas. In our research, a particular attention is given to the assessment of the presence, abundance and distribution change of invasive species and their impact on biodiversity, with a specific focus to pests in agriculture. Furthermore, our researchers study airborne particles of biological origin, namely pollen and spores. By using advanced sampling and computational methods we build “atmospheric diagnostics” services, including detection, quantification and modelling required to understand and predict health risks for humans, plants and animals.