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.

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 F, Manning 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 F, Manning 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