SBiKF_zwei Bienenfresser

SBIK-F Research Group

Community Ecology and Macroecology

In our project area, we investigate the effects of global climate and land-use change on the biodiversity and range dynamics of vertebrates, especially of birds. We focus on ecosystem consequences of these changes at all organizational levels including geographic ranges, species diversity, community structure, and population dynamics. To account for the immense complexity of ecological systems, we explicitly use a pluralistic approach by working on different spatial and temporal scales and combining a variety of different methods such as field observations and experiments, telemetry, computer simulations, and phylogenetic and macroecological analyses.



Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese
Professor, Director "Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre", Member of Senckenberg Board of Directors, Speaker of Research Field "Biodiversity and Climate", Speaker of "Science and Society Program"

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Macroecology, community ecology and Social-Ecological Systems

  • Influence of global change on animal communities in the tropics and in the temperate region
  • Relationships between animal communities, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services
  • Relationships between biodiversity and human well-being in Social-Ecological Systems

TEACHING: Courses at Goethe University Frankfurt in the MSc Ecology and Evolution and in the BSc Biology

MSc Ecology and Evolution and MSc Environmental Sciences: module “Community ecology, Makroökologie und Naturschutz”

  • Content: The module includes an introductory lecture, seminars on current scientific publications, and computer and field practicals. It gives an overview about theory, statistical methods and applications of community ecology and macroecology, as well as consequences for regional and global conservation prioritisation. The module includes an ornithological fieldwork practical outside Frankfurt (duration 1 week). 
  • Contact: Susanne Fritz, Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1803 E-Mail:

BSc Biology: specialisation module “Ökologie der Tiere” (animal ecology) – part “Makroökologie – Einfluss des Klimawandels auf Artverbreitungen” (macroecology – influence of climate change on species distributions)

  • Content: In our part of the module we investigate the potential effects of climate change on the distributions of different European bird species. We use species distribution models to project potential distributions of birds in dependency of climate scenarios for the end of the 21st century.
  • Contact: Thomas Müller, Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1889 E-Mail:


For a full list of publications, please see my profile on Google Scholar

Schleuning, M., E.-L. Neuschulz, J. Albrecht, I. M. A. Bender, D. E. Bowler, D. M. Dehling, S. A. Fritz, C. Hof, T. Müller, L. Nowak, M. C. Sorensen, K. Böhning-Gaese , and W. D. Kissling (2020): Trait-based assessments of climate-change impacts on interacting species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 35: 319-328

Bowler, D. E., H. Heldbjerg, A. D. de Jong, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2019): Long-term declines of European insectivorous bird populations and potential causes. Conservation Biology 33: 1120-1130.

Peters, M. K., A. Andreas Hemp, T. Appelhans, J. N. Becker, C. Behler, A. Classen, F. Detsch, A. Ensslin, S. W. Ferger, S. B. Frederiksen, F. Gebert, F. Gerschlauer, A. Gütlein, M. Helbig-Bonitz, C. Hemp, W. J. Kindeketa, A. Kühnel, A. V. Mayr, E. Mwangomo, C. Ngereza, H. K. Njovu1, I. Otte, H. Pabst, M. Renner, J. Röder, G. Rutten, D. Schellenberger Costa, Natalia Sierra-Cornejo, M. G. R. Vollstädt, H. I. Dulle, C. D. Eardley, K. M. Howell, A. Keller, R. S. Peters, A. Ssymank, V. Kakengi, J. Zhang, C. Bogner, K. Böhning-Gaese, R. Brandl, D. Hertel, B. Huwe, R. Kiese, M. Kleyer, Y. Kuzyakov, T. Nauss, M. Schleuning, M. Tschapka, M. Fischer, and I. Steffan-Dewenter (2019): Climate-land use interactions shape tropical mountain biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Nature 568: 88-92

Hof, C., A. Voskamp, M. F. Biber, K. Böhning-Gaese, E. K. Engelhardt, A. Niamir, S. G. Willis, and T. Hickler (2018): Bioenergy cropland expansion may offset positive effects of climate change mitigation for global vertebrate diversity. PNAS 115: 13294-13299.

Albrecht, J., A. Classen, M. G. R. Vollstädt, A. Mayr, N. P. Mollel, D. Schellenberger Costa, H. I. Dulle, M. Fischer, A. Hemp, K. M. Howell, M. Kleyer, T. Nauss, M. K. Peters, M. Tschapka, I. Steffan-Dewenter, K. Böhning-Gaese , and M. Schleuning (2018): Plant and animal functional diversity drive mutualistic network assembly across an elevational gradient. Nature Communications 9: 3177.

Arbieu, U., C. Grünewald, B. Martín-López, M. Schleuning, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2018): Large mammal diversity matters for wildlife tourism in Southern African protected areas: insights for management . Ecosystem Services 31, Special Issue: 481-490 .

Tucker, M. A., K. Böhning-Gaese , …, T. Mueller (2018): Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements. Science 359: 466-469.

Bowler, D. E., C. Hof, P. Haase, I. Kröncke, O. Schweiger, R. Adrian, L. Baert, H.-G. Bauer, T. Blick, R. W. Brooker, W. Dekoninck, S. Domisch, R. Eckmann, F. Hendrickx, T. Hickler, S. Klotz, A. Kraberg, I. Kühn, S. Matesanz, A. Meschede, H. Neumann, B. O’Hara, D. J. Russell, A. F. Sell, M. Sonnewald, S. Stoll, A. Sundermann, O. Tackenberg, M. Türkay, F. Valladares, K. van Herk, R. van Klink, R. Vermeulen, K. Voigtländer, R. Wagner, E. Welk, M. Wiemers, K. H. Wiltshire, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2017): Cross- realm assessment of climate change impacts on species’ abundance trends. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 0067.

Peters, M. K., A. Hemp , T. Appelhans, C. Behler, A. Classen, F. Detsch, A. Ensslin, S. W. Ferger, S. B. Frederiksen, F. Gebert, M. Haas, M. Helbig-Bonitz, C. Hemp, W. J. Kindeketa, E. Mwangomo, C. Ngereza, I. Otte, J. Röder, G. Rutten, D. Schellenberger Costa, J. Tardanico, G. Zancolli, J. Deckert, C. D. Eardley, R. S. Peters, M.-O. Rödel, M. Schleuning, A. Ssymank, V. Kakengi, J. Zhang, K. Böhning-Gaese , R. Brandl, E. K. V. Kalko, M. Kleyer, T. Nauss, M. Tschapka, M. Fischer, I. Steffan-Dewenter (2016): Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level. Nature Communications 7: 13736.

Schleuning, M., J. Fründ, O. Schweiger, E. Welk, J. Albrecht, M. Albrecht, M. Beil, G. Benadi, N. Blüthgen, H. Bruelheide, K. Böhning-Gaese , D. M. Dehling, C. F. Dormann, N. Exeler, N. Farwig, A. Harpke, T. Hickler, A. Kratochwil, M. Kuhlmann, I. Kühn, D. ​ Michez, S. Mudri-Stojnić, M. Plein, P. Rasmont, A. Schwabe, J. Settele, A. Vujić, C. Weiner, M. Wiemers, and C. Hof (2016): Ecological networks are more sensitive to plant than to animal extinction under climate change. Nature Communications 7: 13965 .

Fritz, S. A., J. T. Eronen, J. Schnitzler, C. Hof, C. M. Janis, A. Mulch, K. Böhning-Gaese , and C. H. Graham (2016): Twenty-million-year relationship between mammalian diversity and primary productivity. PNAS 113: 10908-10913.

Teitelbaum, C. S., S. J. Converse, W. F. Fagan, K. Böhning-Gaese , R. B. O’Hara, A. E. Lacy, and T. Mueller (2016): Experience drives innovation of new migration patterns in response to global change. Nature Communications 7:12793.

Neuschulz, E. L., T. Mueller, M. Schleuning, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2016): Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration. Nature Scientific Reports : 29839.

Ferger, S., M. Schleuning, A. Hemp, K. M. Howell, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2014): Food resources and vegetation structure mediate climatic effects on species richness of birds. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23: 541-549.

Fritz, S. A., J. Schnitzler, J. T. Eronen, C. Hof, K. Böhning-Gaese , and C. H. Graham (2013): Diversity in time and space: wanted dead and alive. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 509-516.

Lenz, J., W. Fiedler, T. Caprano, W. Friedrichs, B. H. Gaese, M. Wikelski, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2011): Seed dispersal distributions by trumpeter hornbills in fragmented landscapes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278 : 2257 – 2264 .

Jetz, W., C. H. Sekercioglu, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2008): The worldwide variation in avian clutch size across species and space. PLOS Biology e303, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303 .

Kissling, W. D., C. Rahbek, and K. Böhning-Gaese (2007): F ood plant diversity as broad-scale determinant of avian frugivore richness. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274: 799-808.

Böhning-Gaese, K. , T. Caprano, K. van Ewijk, and M. Veith (2006): Range size: disentangling current traits and phylogenetic and biogeographic factors. American Naturalist 167: 555-567.

Böhning-Gaese, K. (1997): Determinants of avian species richness at different spatial scales. Journal of Biogeography 24: 49-60.