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Dr. Matthias Saurer - Persönliche Homepage

Organisationseinheit Walddynamik
Waldwachstum und Klima
Adresse Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf

Raum Bi HL D 35
Kontakt Tel: +41 44 739 2198
Fax: +41 44 7392 215
Web / E-Mail

My main research interest is the application of stable isotopes in ecological and climatic studies. This technique is very versatile and helps to improve our understanding of plant-climate interaction and physioloigcal responses to environmental factors.

More info on the lab:


  • 1994 - 2016 Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry
  • 2017 -            WSL Birmensdorf 


  • SNF "Compound-specific dual-isotope anaylsis for the anaylsis plant responses to environmental changes"
  • SBF-COST "The relationship between stable isotopes, water-use efficiency and tree mortality under drought"


  • Petrucco, L., A. Nardini, G. von Arx, M. Saurer and P. Cherubini. 2017. Isotope signals and anatomical features in tree rings suggest a role for hydraulic strategies in diffuse drought-induced die-back of Pinus nigra. Tree Physiology, in press
  • Timofeeva, G., K. Treydte, H. Bugmann, A. Rigling, M. Schaub, R. Siegwolf and M. Saurer. 2017. Long-term effects of drought on tree-ring growth and carbon isotope variability in Scots pine in a dry environment. Tree Physiology, in press
  • Galiano Perez, L., G. Timofeeva, M. Saurer, R. Siegwolf, J. Martinez-Vilalta, R. Hommel and A. Gessler. 2017. The fate of recently fixed carbon after drought release: towards unravelling C storage regulation in Tilia platyphyllos and Pinus sylvestris. Plant, Cell & Environment, in press
  • Lehmann, M.M., B. Gamarra, A. Kahmen, R.T.W. Siegwolf and M. Saurer. 2017. Oxygen isotope fractionations across individual leaf carbohydrates in grass and tree species. Plant, Cell & Environment, in press
  • Leonelli, G., G. Battipaglia, P. Cherubini, M. Saurer, R. T. W. Siegwolf, M. Maugeri, B. Stenni, S. Fusco, V. Maggi, and M. Pelfini (2017), Larix decidua delta O-18 tree-ring cellulose mainly reflects the isotopic signature of winter snow in a high-altitude glacial valley of the European Alps, Science of the Total Environment, 579, 230-237, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.129.
  • Churakova, O. V., M. Saurer, M. V. Bryukhanova, R. T. W. Siegwolf, and C. Bigler (2016), Site-specific water-use strategies of mountain pine and larch to cope with recent climate change, Tree Physiology, 36(8), 942-953, doi:10.1093/treephys/tpw060.
  • Voelker, S.L., J.R. Brooks, F.C. Meinzer, R. Anderson, M.K.F. Bader, G. Battipaglia, K.M. Becklin, D. Beerling, et al., A dynamic leaf gas-exchange strategy is conserved in woody plants under changing ambient CO2: evidence from carbon isotope discrimination in paleo and CO2 enrichment studies. Global Change Biology, 2016. 22(2): p. 889-902.
  • Churakova, O. V., Shashkin, A. V., Siegwolf, R. T. W., Spahni, R., Launois, T., Saurer, M., . . . Roden, J. (2016), Application of eco-physiological models to the climatic interpretation of delta C-13 and delta O-18 measured in Siberian larch tree-rings, Dendrochronologia, 39, 51-59, doi:10.1016/j.dendro.2015.12.008.
  • Saurer, M., A.V. Kirdyanov, A.S. Prokushkin, K.T. Rinne, and R.T.W. Siegwolf, The impact of an inverse climate-isotope relationship in soil water on the oxygen-isotope composition of Larix gmelinii in Siberia. New Phytologist, 2016. 209(3): p. 955-964.
  • Lehmann, M.M., M. Fischer, J. Blees, M. Zech, R.T.W. Siegwolf, and M. Saurer, A novel methylation derivatization method for d18O analysis of individual carbohydrates by gas chromatography/pyrolysis-isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2016. 30(1): p. 221-229.
  • Keel, S.G., F. Joos, R. Spahni, M. Saurer, R.B. Weigt, and S. Klesse, Simulating oxygen isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose using a dynamic global vegetation model. Biogeosciences, 2016. 13(13): p. 3869-3886.
  • Colombaroli, D., P. Cherubini, M. De Ridder, M. Saurer, B. Toirambe, N. Zweifel, and H. Beeckman, Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in tree rings show physiological responses of Pericopsis elata to precipitation in the Congo Basin. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 2016. 32: p. 213-225.
  • Bianchi, F., P. Barmet, L. Stirnweis, I. El Haddad, S.M. Platt, M. Saurer, C. Lotscher, R. Siegwolf, et al., Contribution of methane to aerosol carbon mass. Atmospheric Environment, 2016. 141: p. 41-47.
  • Weigt, R.B., S. Braunlich, L. Zimmermann, M. Saurer, T.E.E. Grams, H.P. Dietrich, R.T.W. Siegwolf, and P.S. Nikolova, Comparison of d18O and d13C values between tree-ring whole wood and cellulose in five species growing under two different site conditions. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2015. 29(23): p. 2233-2244.
  • Rinne, K.T., M. Saurer, A.V. Kirdyanov, N.J. Loader, M.V. Bryukhanova, R.A. Werner, and R.T.W. Siegwolf, The relationship between needle sugar carbon isotope ratios and tree rings of larch in Siberia. Tree Physiology, 2015. 35(11): p. 1192-1205.
  • Rinne, K.T., M. Saurer, A.V. Kirdyanov, M.V. Bryukhanova, A.S. Prokushkin, O.V. Churakova, and R.T.W. Siegwolf, Examining the response of needle carbohydrates from Siberian larch trees to climate using compound-specific d13C and concentration analyses. Plant Cell and Environment, 2015. 38(11): p. 2340-2352.
  • Frank, D.C., B. Poulter, M. Saurer, J. Esper, C. Huntingford, G. Helle, K. Treydte, N.E. Zimmermann, et al., Water-use efficiency and transpiration across European forests during the Anthropocene. Nature Climate Change, 2015. 5(6): p. 579-+.
  • Esper, J., O. Konter, P.J. Krusic, M. Saurer, S. Holzkaemper, and U. Buentgen, Long-erm summer temperature variations in the Pyrenees from detrended stable carbon isotopes. Geochronometria, 2015. 42(1): p. 53-59.
  • Bryukhanova, M.V., P. Fonti, A.V. Kirdyanov, R.T.W. Siegwolf, M. Saurer, N.P. Pochebyt, O.V. Churakova, and A.S. Prokushkin, The response of d13C, d18O and cell anatomy of Larix gmelinii tree rings to differing soil active layer depths. Dendrochronologia, 2015. 34: p. 51-59.