Prof. Dr. Arthur Gessler

Prof. Dr. Arthur Gessler


Responsabile di gruppo, Leiter Forschungsprogramm


Ecologia degli Ecositemi


Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


WSL Birmensdorf Bi HL D 26

Understanding the processes that drive and regulate forest growth, biogeochemical cycles, biotic interactions and biodiversity-ecosystem functioning at different scales is of central importance to our work. Only with this understanding we can assess and predict shifts in the function of ecosystems and landscapes subjected to fundamental changes in the prevailing environmental conditions (i.e. climate and land use).


Institution and Location Degree Year(s) Field of Study
University of Freiburg

University of Freiburg

University of Freiburg


Dr. rer. nat

PD (habil)





Tree Physiology

Tree Physiology

POSITIONS: Employment /Experience



Postgraduate student/research assistant at the University of Freiburg (Institute of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology), Germany
1999-2002 Postdoctoral Fellow and Group leader at the University of Freiburg (Institute of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology), Germany
2002-2005 Research fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft at the University of Freiburg, Germany
2002-2003 Visiting Fellow at the at the School of Forest and Ecosystem Science of the University of Melbourne, Austrlia
2005 Senior Research Fellow at the School of Forest and Ecosystem Science of the University of Melbourne, Australia
2005-2006 Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Biological Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2006 Research Fellow at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Nancy/Champenoux, France
2006-2009 Head of the Core Facility Metabolomics at the Centre for Biosystem Analysis (ZBSA) of the University of Freiburg, Germany
2009-2014 Head of the Institute for Landscape Biogeochemistry at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and Professor for Landscape Biogeochemistry at the Humboldt University at Berlin
Since 2014 Research Program and Group Leader at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL


Five selected Publications:

(a full publication list can be found at:

Hommel R, Siegwolf R., Saurer M, Farquhar GD, Kayler Z, Ferrio JP, Gessler A. 2014. Drought response of mesophyll conductance in forest understory species - Impacts on water use efficiency and interactions with leaf water movement. Physiologia Plantarum online.

Gessler A, Brandes E, Keitel C, Boda S, Kayler ZE, Granier A, Barbour M, Farquhar GD, Treydte K. 2013. The oxygen isotope enrichment of leaf-exported assimilates - does it always reflect lamina leaf water enrichment? New Phytologist 200: 144-157.

Offermann C, Ferrio JP, Holst J, Grote R, Siegwolf R, Kayler Z, Gessler A. 2011. The long way down – Are carbon and oxygen isotope signals in the tree ring uncoupled from canopy physiological processes? Tree Physiology 31: 1088-1102.

Wingate L, Ogée J, Burlett R, Bosc A, Devaux M, Grace J, Loustau D, Gessler A. 2010 Photosynthetic carbon isotope discrimination and its relationship to the carbon isotope signals of stem, soil and ecosystem respiration. New Phytologist, 188: 576–589.

Gessler A, Tcherkez G, Karyanto O, Keitel C, Ferrio JP, Ghashghaie J, Farquhar GD. 2009. On the metabolic origin of the carbon isotope composition of CO2 evolved from darkened light-acclimated leaves in Ricinus communis. New Phytologist 181: 374–386