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Macroecology and Biodiversity


One of my long-term research goals is to understand how climate, ecosystems, and biodiversity are connected and how communities are composed (Karger et al. 2016a,b, 2020, Luza et al. 2021). This research has traditionally focused on mountain ecosystems. Mountain ecosystems are among the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on Earth, but their topographic complexity presents a major challenge to fully understanding them. Based on this research, I have shown that mountain area influences elevational patterns of species richness (Karger et al. 2011)), that mountain isolation and size influence plant community composition (Karger et al. 2014, 2015), and overall tree line location (Karger et al. 2019). Cloud forests, which are closely linked to atmospheric processes, are not only among the most species-rich terrestrial ecosystems, especially for groups such as ferns and lycophytes (Khine et al. 2019), but are also increasingly stressed by anthropogenic impacts (Karger et al. 2021).


Botanical expeditions to mountain cloud forests (in german with english subtitles)

I started my research on mountain cloud forests in island systems during my PhD. Over the years, I have conducted more than 20 field campaigns in tropical mountain forests to measure the vegetation and biodiversity of these often extremely remote mountain forests. You can get an insight into this work in this video produced during my time at the University of Zurich.