Functional composition of plant communities in the Antropocene

Prof. Dr. Ingolf Kühn

Departement Community Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)


Fellowship Period: 2021-2023

I am interested in the impact of global change on plant species from the level of communities to macroecological assemblages. While I work on impacts of land use change and climate change, as well, I have a specific focus on biological invasions and how the traits of species influence their potential to become invasive, but also how the functional composition of invaded communities change. To do so, I rely on models based on existing databases on species occurrence, and environmental data, as well as field work.

Activities within WSL Fellowship

There are several collaborations, all related to the main topic.

With Michael Nobis, we explore how the stem anatomical features of Schweingruber behaves in multivariate space, to identify main functional dimensions and whether this depicts similar dimensions as the Global Spectrum of Plant, Form and Function (Diaz et al. 2016) or novel aspects emerge.

Another study related to the continuum between nativeness and alienness of species due to global change. Species can unassistedly track climate change from a “foreign” region. Others are being translocated to save them from extinction or hybridise with native species. With Nick Zimmerman, we want to explore implications of these processes for measures of nature conservation vs and plant control.

Lastly, there are collaboration with Tom Wohlgemuth on the changes in the Flora of Zurich as well as Eckehard Brockerhoff and Agnieszka Sendek on species invasions in the Blue-green Biodiversity framework.

Cooperation within WSL

Interne Kontakte (Datensätze)