Axel Hochkirch

Axel Hochkirch
Universität Trier · Department of Biogeography

Professor

About

331
Publications
104,598
Reads
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5,092
Citations
Citations since 2016
192 Research Items
3749 Citations
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Introduction
I am interested in all kinds of biodiversity research, including its evolution (phylogenetics, phylogeography, evolutionary ecology, biogeography), its dynamics (behavioural biology, ecology, population genetics) and its conservation (conservation biology, conservation genetics).
Additional affiliations
March 2008 - present
Universität Trier
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
October 2001 - February 2008
Universität Osnabrück
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
October 1996 - May 2001
Universität Bremen
Position
  • PhD: Phylogeography of Afrophlaeoba
Description
  • PhD student
Education
October 1990 - September 1996
Universität Bremen
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (331)
Article
Full-text available
We must start an ambitious and professional global programme to explore and preserve invertebrate biodiversity, says Axel Hochkirch.
Article
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Understanding varying levels of biodiversity within cities is pivotal to protect it in the face of global urbanisation. In the early stages of urban ecology studies on intra-urban biodiversity focused on the urban-rural gradient, representing a broad generalisation of features of the urban landscape. Increasingly, studies classify the urban landsca...
Article
Twenty years after the world’s nations agreed upon the Convention on Biodiversity, there is still a global decline in biodiversity. At present it seems unlikely that the Aichi Targets of halting biodiversity loss by 2020 will be met. Although the European Union is often seen as a pioneer in this regard, as its ‘Habitats Directive’ represents one of...
Article
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Functional connectivity is essential for the long-term persistence of populations. However, many studies assess connectivity with a focus on structural connectivity only. Cityscapes, namely urban landscapes, are particularly dynamic and include numerous potential anthropogenic barriers to animal movements, such as roads, traffic or buildings. In or...
Article
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Although sexual interactions between species (reproductive interference) have been reported from a wide range of animal taxa, their potential for determining species coexistence is often disregarded. Here, we review evidence from laboratory and field studies illustrating that heterospecific sexual interactions are frequently associated with fitness...
Article
A major limitation of current reports on insect declines is the lack of standardized, long-term, and taxonomically broad time series. Here, we demonstrate the utility of environmental DNA from archived leaf material to characterize plant-associated arthropod communities. We base our work on several multi-decadal leaf time series from tree canopies...
Article
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Climate warming is considered to be among the most serious of anthropogenic stresses to the environment, because it not only has direct effects on biodiversity, but it also exacerbates the harmful effects of other human-mediated threats. The associated consequences are potentially severe, particularly in terms of threats to species preservation, as...
Article
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Wildfires increase globally in frequency and extent as a consequence of climate change. These wildfires may have negative effects on insect populations. Macaronesia is a global biodiversity hotspot with wildfires occurring annually, but the consequences of these wildfires on endemic insects are poorly understood. Using bioacoustics monitoring, we s...
Technical Report
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Despite their environmental and economic significance, pollinator conservation efforts to date have been dominated by activities related to bees and butterflies. Fortunately, in 2018, the European Union (EU) launched a comprehensive Pollinators Initiative to extend action to all main pollinator groups. However, given their unusually diverse life-hi...
Article
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Species differ in their biological susceptibility to extinction, but the set of traits determining susceptibility varies across taxa. It is yet unclear which patterns are common to all taxa, and which are taxon-specific, with consequences to conservation practice. In this study we analysed the generality of trait-based prediction of extinction risk...
Article
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We studied the songs and morphology of the stridulatory file of Isophya modestior across its complete geographic range, in order to test our hypothesis that the male calling song of the species shows strong differentiation between the northern (Pannonian) and southern (Balkan) parts of its distribution range, reflecting its disjunct distribution. O...
Article
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The insect fauna of natural and restored remnants of moor grass meadows (Molinion caeruleae), near Mamer, Luxembourg, was surveyed in 2021. The presence of butterfly species was assessed by walking predefined transects while moths were recorded by attracting them to artificial light sources. Ground living beetles, especially Carabidae, were targete...
Article
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Aim Biodiversity loss is a major global challenge. While population trends of vertebrates are well documented, insect declines have not been sufficiently studied. We aim to identify changes in Orthoptera assemblages and the underlying drivers with a focus on land‐use and climate change. Location Central Europe. Time period 2018 to 2020. Methods...
Article
Ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are an important beneficial group that, as other insects, are negatively affected by many human-mediated threats, including climate change, agricultural intensification, habitat loss, pollution, and biological invasions. Ecological impacts from these threats have altered the richness, abundance, and distributio...
Article
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Recent climate and land-use changes are having substantial impacts on biodiversity, including population declines, range shifts, and changes in community composition. However, few studies have compared these impacts among multiple taxa, particularly because of a lack of standardized time series data over long periods. Existing data sets are typical...
Preprint
Full-text available
A major limitation of current reports on insect declines is the lack of standardized, long-term, and taxonomically broad time series. Here, we demonstrate the utility of environmental DNA from archived leaf material to characterize plant-associated arthropod communities. We base our work on several multi-decadal leaf time series from tree canopies...
Article
The genus Thalpomena Saussure, 1884 is distributed in North Africa, Somalia and Ethiopia. It currently contains nine species, including one species with four subspecies; Seven of them (including one with four subspecies) are distributed in the Atlas Mountains, one in Libya and one (originally described in the genus Vosseleria) in the Somali Highlan...
Article
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The genus Thalpomena Saussure comprises nine species and four subspecies and is largely endemic to the Atlas Mountains (North Africa). Here, we used an evolutionary taxonomic approach to differentiate the species of the genus Thalpomena and to reconstruct their biogeographic history. Phylogenetic tree reconstruction based on five molecular markers...
Article
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Orthoptera in Germany 2020-Interesting Orthoptera records from the platform heuschrecken.observation.org for the year 2020. Since the establishment of the platform Heuschrecken.observation.org digital recording of Orthoptera records from Germany has massively increased. Here we provide an overview about interesting Orthoptera records for the year 2...
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Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
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Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
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Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a “Green List of Species” (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species’ progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
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The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was introduced from Asia to Europe, most likely via the pet trade. It is currently causing a severe local decline in populations of the European fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Laboratory tests confirmed that all infected individuals succumbed to the disease within two...
Article
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Population reductions are often used to assess extinction risk of species in the IUCN Red List. Guidelines for Red List assessments describe specific methods for calculating the amount of reduction for species with strongly fluctuating populations. Recently, an alternative approach that involves expert opinion has been suggested for calculating pop...
Article
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Abstract During recent decades, substantial progress has been made in the spatial record-ing of Orthoptera in Germany. The internet recording platform heuschrecken.ob-servation.org (and observation.org for global data) allows to report or retrieve Orthoptera observations on a daily basis. We here provide an overview on inter-esting Orthoptera obser...
Article
With more than 143 species and a wide distributional range, the genus Sphingono-tus FIEBER, 1852 is the most species-rich genus within the subfamily Oedipodinae. Because of the high morphological similarity of many species, and a lack of comprehensive identification keys, it is not easy to distinguish many species of the genus. Molecular methods, s...
Article
Sphingonotus (Sphingonotus) rubescens (Walker, 1870) occurs from the Atlantic Islands to central and southern Asia, but its ecological preferences and the potential drivers that shaped its currently extensive distribution remain unknown. We review the known occurrence data for S. rubescens and reconstruct its current and palaeoclimatic niche (Last...
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Some conservation prioritization methods assume that conservation needs overwhelm current resources and not all species can be conserved; therefore, a “conservation triage” scheme (that is, when the system is overwhelmed, species should be divided into three groups based on likelihood of survival, and efforts should be focused on those species in t...
Technical Report
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Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The purpose of the Guidelines for using A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas is to ensure that KBA identification is based on consistent, scientifically rigorous yet practical methods. These KBA Guidelines p...
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The sand cat, Felis margarita Loche, 1858, is a small desert cat with a fragmented distribution across the Sahara, Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia. It is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN; however, its status in many countries is unknown. Sand cats are generally classified into four subspecies: F. m. margarita (North Africa and Saha...
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Intensive mosquito control programs are likely to contribute to insect diversity loss, but these effects are both underestimated and understudied. We recommend to conduct direct biodiversity monitoring programs to understand the effects of both chemical and biological control.
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This study presents the re-examination of the flora and insect fauna in wet and mesophile extensive grasslands in an area called „Houbaach“ in Bertrange, southwestern Luxembourg after 25 years. The effectiveness of contractual nature conservation in terms of extensive grassland management is assessed on the actual state of the recorded biocoenosis....
Article
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Measuring progress towards international biodiversity targets requires robust knowledge of the conservation status of species, which is provided by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, data and capacity are lacking for most hyperdiverse groups such as invertebrates, plants and fungi, particularly in megadiverse or high‐endemism regions...
Technical Report
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This report presents the proposal for an EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (EU-PoMS), based on the findings of an expert group of 21 people from 12 European countries. The EU-PoMS delivers of a cost-effective Core Scheme, which includes the most relevant taxa, is able to detect changes in the status of pollinators, has EU-wide coverage, and uses stan...
Preprint
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Biodiversity is eroding at unprecedented rates due to human activity. Species' trajectories towards extinction are shaped by multiple factors, including life-history traits as well as human pressures. Previous studies linking these factors to extinction risk have been narrow in their taxonomic and geographic scope, thus limiting the ability for ide...
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Here we build on the manifesto 'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, issued by the Alliance of World Scientists. As a group of conservation biologists deeply concerned about the decline of insect populations, we here review what we know about the drivers of insect extinctions, their consequences, and how extinctions can negatively impact humanity...
Article
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The fate of humans and insects intertwine, especially through the medium of plants. Global environmental change, including land transformation and contamination, is causing concerning insect diversity loss, articulated in the companion review Scientists' warning to humanity on insect extinctions. Yet, despite a sound philosophical foundation, recog...
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Information on population sizes and trends of threatened species is essential for their conservation, but obtaining reliable estimates can be challenging. Here, we propose a method to improve the precision of population size estimates obtained from capture‐recapture studies for species with low (re)capture probabilities and short seasonal activity,...
Article
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Habitat management strategies across the globe are often focusing on flagship species, such as large threatened mammals. This is also true for most protected areas of India, where large mammals such as the Tiger or Asian Elephant represent focal species of conservation management, although a shift towards other species groups can be observed in rec...
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Der Warzenbeißer ist eine in Nordrhein-Westfalen vom Aussterben bedrohte Heuschreckenart. Im Nationalpark Eifel befindet sich die wohl größte Population im Bundesland sowie den angrenzenden Beneluxstaaten. Erfassungen der Jahre 2017 und 2018 haben gezeigt, dass die große Heuschreckenart auf weiten Teilen der Dreiborner Hochfläche zu finden ist, abe...
Article
Conservation genetics is a well‐established scientific field. However, limited information transfer between science and practice continues to hamper successful implementation of scientific knowledge in conservation practice and management. To mitigate this challenge, we have established a conservation genetics community, which entails an internatio...
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Brazil, home to one of the planet’s last great forests, is currently in trade negotiations with its second largest trading partner, the European Union (EU). We urge the EU to seize this critical opportunity to ensure that Brazil protects human rights and the environment. Brazil’s forests, wetlands, and savannas are crucial to a great diversity of I...
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Background Azorean volcanic cave biodiversity is under considerable pressure due to ongoing threats of pollution, land use change, touristic activities or climate change. In this contribution, we present the IUCN Red List profiles of 15 cave-adapted arthropod species, endemic to the Azorean archipelago, including species belonging to the speciose g...