Young Research Group

Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Change

Human activities, including land use intensification, nitrogen enrichment and climate change are dramatically altering the Earth’s ecosystems. We are investigating (i) how these drivers influence the assembly and reassembly of ecological communities and (ii) the impact of these changes upon the ecosystem functions and services that people depend upon for their well-being.
The focus of this research is on plant communities, but other taxa (mainly microorganisms and invertebrates) are also studied. Our research is conducted in a wide range of ecosystem types, though with an emphasis on temperate grasslands and forests.
Much of our work is based upon the synthesis of data from large ecological projects including The Biodiversity Exploratories, whose administrative office is also located at Senckenberg.


Dr. Peter Manning
PostDoc, Head of Young Scientist Group 'Causes and Consequences of biodiversity change'

I currently work as the group leader of the project group Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Change within SBiK-F. I am a plant ecologist by training whose research focuses on plant-soil interactions and their consequences for community dynamics and ecosystem functioning. I have a particular interest in utilising knowledge from biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research to inform ecosystem management and improve our understanding of ecosystem responses to global environmental change.

I am also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology.

External links:
Peter Manning atResearch Gate

List of publications on Google Scholar

Peter Manning on Twitter

Dr. Anne Bjorkman
PostDoc, Member of Young Research Group 'Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Change'

Research interests

I work across scales to understand the natural patterns and processes that shape plant communities, as well as how humans influence these patterns and processes. I am particularly interested in how human disturbances can lead to shifts in functional composition and diversity, and the consequences of these shifts for ecosystem functioning.

External links

Personal website

Anne Bjorkman at Research Gate

List of publications at Google Scholar

Dr. Gaetane Le Provost
PostDoc, Member of Young Scientist Group 'Causes and Consequences of biodiversity change'

Research Interests

I am a community ecologist interested into the mechanisms that shape the structure of ecological communities in response to land use intensification. I use functional trait-based approaches to:  (i) identify and generalise the effects of land use intensification that operate at different spatial and temporal scales across multiple taxonomic groups and trophic levels (plants, herbivores, pollinators, predators and top-predators) (ii) investigate the underlying mechanisms of biodiversity response, and particularly the role of trophic interactions.

Currently, I am involved in a new project which aims to investigate biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships at the landscape level within the larger Biodiversity Exploratories project. The specific objectives of this project are to: (i) assess and quantify the role of local and landscape diversity, as well as their interaction with the surrounding land use, in driving the capacity of an ecosystem to provide multiple ecosystem functions (i.e. ecosystem multifunctionality); (ii) evaluate how the landscape configuration of diversity and land use intensity drives landscape level ecosystem function and multifunctionality.

External links:

Gaetae Le Provost at Research Gate

List of publications on Google Scholar

Selected publications

Manning P, van der Plas F, Soliveres S, Allan E, Maestre FT, Mace G, Whittingham MJ, Fischer M. (2018) Redefining ecosystem multifunctionality. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 427-436.

Soliveres S, van der Plas FManning P, Prati D, Gossner MM, Renner SC, Alt F, Arndt H, Baumgartner V, Binkenstein J, Birkhofer K, Blaser S, Blüthgen N, Boch S, Böhm S, Börschig C, Buscot F, Diekötter T, Heinze J, Hölzel N, Jung K, Klaus VH, Kleinebecker T, Klemmer S, Krauss J, Lange M, Morris EK, Müller J, Oelmann Y, Overmann J, Pašalić E, Rillig MC, Schaefer HM, Schloter M, Schmitt B, Schöning I, Schrumpf M, Sikorski J, Socher SA, Solly EF, Sonnemann I, Sorkau E, Steckel J, Steffan-Dewenter I, Stempfhuber B, Tschapka M, Türke M, Venter PC, Weiner CN, Weisser WW, Werner M, Westphal C, Wilcke W, Wolters V, Wubet T, Wurst S, Fischer M & Allan E. (2016) Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality. Nature. 536, 456–459.

van der Plas FManning P, Allan E, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Verheyen K, Wirth C, Zavala MA, Hector A, Ampoorter E, Baeten L, Barbaro L, Bauhus J, Benavides R, Benneter A, Berthold F, Bonal D, Bouriaud O, Bruelheide H, Bussotti F, Carnol M, Castagneyrol B, Charbonnier Y, Coomes D, Coppi A, Bastias CC, Dawud SM, De Wandeler H, Domisch T, Finér L, Gessler A, Granier A, Grossiord C, Guyot V, Hättenschwiler S, Jactel H, Jaroszewicz B, Joly FX, Jucker T, Koricheva J, Milligan H, Müller S, Muys B, Nguyen D, Pollastrini M, Raulund-Rasmussen R, Selvi F, Stenlid J, Valladares F, Vesterdal L, Zielínski D, Fischer M. (2016) ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ effects drive biodiversity-ecosystem multifunctionality relationships. Nature Communications, 7:11109