Christoph Kueffer

Christoph Kueffer
Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil | HSR · Department of Landscape Architecture

Prof. Dr.

About

215
Publications
85,798
Reads
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8,789
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - present
Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil
Position
  • Professor
June 2009 - present
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Lecturer
November 2007 - June 2009
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (215)
Article
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The arts, humanities, and social sciences (AHSS) are critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . A major strategic effort is needed to strengthen inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching focused on the SDGs in the AHSS.
Article
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Die Veränderungen in Gesellschaft und Klima fordern den Garten- und Landschaftsbau sowie die Landschaftsarchitektur immer wieder heraus. Die Ostschweizer Fachhochschule in Rapperswil (SG) nutzt ihre 50-jährigen Aussenanlagen als Freiraumlabor, um besser zu verstehen, wie Gärten als Chance für zukünftige attraktive Freiräume genutzt werden können. D...
Article
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Climate change and other global change drivers threaten plant diversity in mountains worldwide. A widely documented response to such environmental modifications is for plant species to change their elevational ranges. Range shifts are often idiosyncratic and difficult to generalize, partly due to variation in sampling methods. There is thus a need...
Chapter
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As human communities become increasingly interconnected through transport and trade, there has been a concomitant rise in both accidental and intentional species introductions, resulting in biological invasions. A warming global climate and the rapid movement of people and vessels across the globe have opened new air and sea routes, accelerated pro...
Article
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A green deal cannot be left to economics and engineering. It requires social innovations and new economic thinking that enable people to make a decent living based on ecological practices.
Article
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We demonstrate how native and nonnative plant taxa used as ornamentals in private and public urban green spaces can significantly strengthen plant conservation in time of extinctions by expanding the capacity for ex situ living collections and raising awareness among professional and private gardeners and plant collectors. Based on global databases...
Preprint
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Climate change and other global change drivers threaten plant diversity in mountains worldwide. A widely documented response to such environmental modifications is for plant species to change their elevational ranges. Range shifts are often idiosyncratic and difficult to generalize, partly due to variation in sampling methods. There is thus a need...
Article
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Auch in der Schweiz dauert das Artensterben an. Das naturnahe Gärtnern kann ein Teil der Lösung sein. Urbane Grünräume sind nämlich zu einem wichtigen Rückzugsgebiet für die Artenvielfalt geworden. In diesem Artikel stellen wir Resultate eines Forschungsprojektes vor, das untersucht hat, wie eine Förderung von Wildpflanzen auch in verdichteten Sied...
Article
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Aim Biological invasions are likely determined by species dispersal strategies as well as environmental characteristics of a recipient region, especially climate and human impact. However, the contribution of climatic factors, human impact, and dispersal strategies in driving invasion processes is still controversial and not well embedded in the ex...
Article
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The Anthropocene has seen declining biodiversity inextricably linked to our societies , values, and choices. This requires ecologists to engage with the public in ecosystems such as cities to learn from and help inform their values and experiences regarding their role in urban nature. This article presents a transdisciplinary citizen science projec...
Article
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The conservation and promotion of biodiversity in urban spaces has become a core concern in urban greening. As cities continue to densify, however, urban green spaces are becoming smaller and more isolated. Many hope that wildflowers, and with them also faunistic biodiversity, can be maintained through networks of small informal green spaces. Curre...
Article
Plant communities within many of the world’s waterways are losing diversity where flows are stabilised for security and enriched from land-use intensification. Understanding the phenotypic plasticity of plant species that protect and/or store their below-ground biomass during floods may help to promote them if problematic, overabundant species – li...
Article
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For a society to emerge in which people make money through restoration rather than through the destruction of nature, closer dialogue between sustainability science and socially diverse biodiversity conservation is needed.
Technical Report
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Die vorliegende Konzeptstudie basiert auf einem angewandten Forschungsprojekt und zeigt auf, wie Biodiversität besser mittels raumplanerischen Instrumenten (im weitesten Sinne) gefördert werden kann.
Technical Report
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Fachhochschulen haben das grosse Potenzial soziale Innovationen und gesellschaftliche Transformationsprozesse durch transdisziplinäre Forschung anzustossen und zu begleiten. Sie sind damit wichtige Pfeiler im Schweizer Wissenschaftssystem, wie Präsident Marcel Tanner im Vorwort betont. Die neue Publikation der Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz b...
Article
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In the Anthropocene, plant scientists must learn to better understand the ecology of ecosystems such as cities and to interact in non‐hierarchical ways with people of all walks of life.
Article
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Our ability to predict invasions has been hindered by the seemingly idiosyncratic context-dependency of individual invasions. However, we argue that robust and useful generalisations in invasion science can be made by considering “invasion syndromes” which we define as “a combination of pathways, alien species traits, and characteristics of the rec...
Article
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Background and aims: Since its emergence in the mid-20th century, invasion biol- ogy has matured into a productive research field addressing questions of fundamen- tal and applied importance. Not only has the number of empirical studies increased through time, but also has the number of competing, overlapping and, in some cases, contradictory hypot...
Article
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Extreme abiotic conditions, geographic isolation, and low levels of disturbance have historically provided alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic regions with low input of and relative resistance to the introduction of new species. However, the climate is warming rapidly, concomitant with intense and diversified types of human influence in these cold enviro...
Article
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Systems, targets and transformations are guiding metaphors of environmental and sustainability research. Is the framing of these concepts still adequate to address today’s wicked sustainability challenges?
Chapter
Nature can help us envision cities for a post-growth society embedded in a circular economy that recycles, re-uses and up-cycles all materials and is fuelled by solar energy. Such cities will be alive in the sense that their parts mutually and dynamically co-shape each other. They will value tradition, heritage and the existing, and they will be de...
Article
Die Themen der Biodiversität und Ökologie wurden in den letzten Jahren am Studiengang Landschaftsarchitektur der HSR Rapperswil weiterentwickelt und gestärkt-unter anderem im Rahmen einer Studiengangreform. Au cours des dernières années, les thématiques de la biodiversité et de l’écologie se sont vu accorder plus de poids dans l’enseignement de l’...
Article
Biodiversity on marine islands is characterized by unique biogeographic, phylogenetic and functional characteristics. Islands hold a disproportionate amount of the world's biodiversity, and they have also experienced a disproportionate loss of it. Following human contact, island biodiversity has sustained negative human impacts increasing in rate a...
Article
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Global change has complex eco-evolutionary consequences for organisms and ecosystems, but related concepts (e.g., novel ecosystems) do not cover their full range. Here we propose an umbrella concept of “ecological novelty” comprising (1) a site-specific and (2) an organismcentered, eco-evolutionary perspective. Under this umbrella, complementary op...
Article
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In this paper we illustrate how ecological research can respond to the novel challenges facing biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene by using the example of an urban ecology research project that aims at better understanding the long-term survival of wildflower populations in cities as a basis for deriving effective nature conservation stra...
Article
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The Professorship of Urban Ecology (Siedlungsökologie) at the Department of Landscape Architecture (HSR Rapperswil) aims to integrate all aspects of ecology into landscape architecture design and planning in teaching, research and design practice. Ecological concerns are: urban biodiversity (wildflowers, urban trees, urban wildlife), climate adapta...
Article
Identifying the key factors driving invasion processes is crucial for designing and implementing appropriate management strategies. In fact, the importance of (model-based) prevention and early detection was highlighted in the recent European Union regulation on Invasive Alien Species. Models based on abundance estimates for different age/size clas...
Chapter
Alien plant species have been essential for farming and agro-forestry systems and for their supply of food, fiber, tannins, resins or wood from antiquity to the present. They also contributed to supporting functions and regulating services (water, soil, biodiversity) and to the design of landscapes with high cultural and scenic value. Some of those...
Technical Report
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Report on workshop to promote the use of native plants in greening of cities bringing together landscape architects, gardeners, scientists, plant breeders, NGOs and nature conservancies
Article
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Prevention is regarded as a cost-effective management action to avoid unwanted impacts of non-native species. However, targeted prevention can be difficult if little is known about the traits of successfully invading non-native species or habitat characteristics that make native vegetation more resistant to invasion. Here, we surveyed mountain road...
Article
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Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monit...
Article
Human perceptions of nature and the environment are increasingly being recognised as important for environmental management and conservation. Understanding people's perceptions is crucial for understanding behaviour and developing effective management strategies to maintain, preserve and improve biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being...
Article
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Environmental issues require answers from science, society, and culture. How can we apply the humanities and arts to these issues while cultivating methodologies that value context-dependence, multiperspectivity, relativism, and subjectivity?
Article
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Aim Species–area relationships (SARs) on oceanic archipelagos are shaped at least as much by speciation as by immigration–extinction dynamics. We examine three well‐studied Atlantic archipelagos to quantify the relative contributions of colonization and diversification to individual and whole‐archipelago floras. Location Three Macaronesian archipe...
Article
1.Agroforestry systems are refuges for biodiversity and provide multiple ecosystem functions and services. Diverse multispecies shade tree canopies are increasingly replaced by monospecific shade, often dominated by non‐native tree species. The loss of tree diversity and the nature of the dominating tree can have strong implications for ecosystem f...
Article
We investigated patterns of species richness and community dissimilarity along elevation gradients using globally replicated, standardized surveys of vascular plants. We asked how these patterns of diversity are influenced by anthropogenic pressures (road construction and non-native species). Global. 2008–2015. Vascular plants. Native and non-nativ...
Article
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The number of alien plants escaping from cultivation into native ecosystems is increasing steadily. We provide an overview of the historical, contemporary and potential future roles of ornamental horticulture in plant invasions. We show that currently at least 75% and 93% of the global naturalised alien flora is grown in domestic and botanical gard...
Article
1. Many alien taxa are known to cause socio-economic impacts by affecting the different constituents of human well-being (security; material and non-material assets; health; social, spiritual and cultural relations; freedom of choice and action). Attempts to quantify socio-economic impacts in monetary terms are unlikely to provide a useful basis fo...
Article
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"Die ökologische Krise ist sehr dramatisch und umfasst bedeutend mehr als ‚nur‘ den Klimawandel", sagt der Ökologe Christoph Küffer. Doch mit den überkommenen wissenschaftlichen Konzepten werde man der Krise nicht Herr: Die Naturwissenschaften müssten vermehrt mit den Humanwissenschaften zusammenarbeiten.
Article
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This article discusses four features of islands that make them places of special importance to environmental conservation. First, investment in island conservation is both urgent and cost-effective. Islands are threatened hotspots of diversity that concentrate unique cultural, biological and geophysical values, and they form the basis of the liveli...
Article
Today's globalized economy causes the large-scale redistribution of plant species (1). However, only some alien species that are introduced by humans to a new region spread rapidly and reach high abundances. According to the current paradigm, these invasive alien species profit from a different ecological and evolutionary history than the recipient...
Article
Regime shift' has emerged as a key concept in the environmental sciences. The concept has roots in complexity science and its ecological applications, and is increasingly applied to intertwined social and ecological phenomena. Yet what exactly is a regime shift? We explore this question at three nested levels. First, we propose a broad, contingent,...
Article
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Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make tempo...
Article
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Urban areas have unique assemblages of species which are governed by novel ecological processes. People living in these environments have specific needs and demands in terms of ecosystem services (ES). Urban ecosystems are transformed in many ways by human activities and their floras comprise a high proportion of alien plant species, many of which...
Article
Intensification of multispecies coffee agroforests reduces shade tree diversity with implications for tropical biodiversity. We investigated how tree biodiversity and its effects on coffee production and quality changes along a gradient of intensification (from diverse multispecies to Grevillea robusta dominated shade) across 25 Coffea canephora ag...
Article
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1. Ornamental horticulture is the primary pathway for invasive alien plant introductions. We critically appraise published evidence on the effectiveness of four policy instruments that tackle invasions along the horticulture supply-chain: pre-border import restrictions, post-border bans, industry codes of conduct, and consumer education. 2. Effecti...
Article
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Gesellschaftliche Transformationsprozesse sind auf praxisnahe Forschung angewiesen. Fachhochschulen sind dafür ideal positioniert, werden in der Schweiz aber dahingehend kaum unterstützt.
Article
This account presents comprehensive information on the biology of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. (P. communis Trin.; common reed) that is relevant to understanding its ecological characteristics and behaviour. The main topics are presented within the standard framework of the Biological Flora of the British Isles: distribution, habitat...
Chapter
How humans perceive and judge nature and relate it to their life is shaped by emotional, cognitive, cultural, and social factors. Whether a species is considered native, non-native, or invasive can affect such aesthetics of nature by interacting with our emotions, affronting or confirming our cognitive categories, or engaging in our social, economi...
Article
There is growing interest in ecosystem disservices, i.e. the negative effects of ecosystems on humans. The focus on disservices has been controversial because of the lack of clarity on how to disentangle ecosystem services and disservices related to human wellbeing. A perspective that considers both services and disservices is needed to inform obje...
Article
Interdisciplinarity is needed to gain knowledge of the ecology of invasive species and invaded ecosystems, and of the human dimensions of biological invasions. We combine a quantitative literature review with a qualitative historical narrative to document the progress of interdisciplinarity in invasion science since 1950. Our review shows that 92.4...
Article
New nature conservation strategies for the Anthropocene (essay) Nature conservation experiences a phase of vivid debates about its fundamental principles. The underlying basic question is: how can biodiversity be saved and major species extinction be avoided, when most of the planet is affected by human land use and anthropogenic environmental chan...
Article
Biological invasions cause many impacts that differ widely in how they are perceived. We argue that many conflicts in the valuation of the impacts of alien species are attributable to differences in the framing of the issue and implicit assumptions—such conflicts are often not acknowledged. We present 13 principles that can help guide valuation and...
Chapter
Die sich ändernden klimatischen Bedingungen erfordern Anpassungen der waldbaulichen Strategien. Adaptives Management zielt zum einen darauf ab, Unsicherheiten zu identifizieren und diese durch Managementversuche und Einbezug von Modellierungen zu reduzieren. Zum andern sollen nebst den Hauptentscheidungsträgern bzw. -trägerinnen Akteure von ausserh...
Chapter
Les conditions climatiques changeantes exigent une adaptation des stratégies sylvicoles. La gestion adaptative vise, d’une part, à identifier les incertitudes et à les réduire avec des essais de gestion et l’intégration de modélisations. D’autre part, elle implique d’associer des acteurs externes aux principaux décideurs et décideuses de manière à...
Article
Niche-based species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used to predict impacts of global change on biodiversity, but the reliability of these predictions in space and time depends on their transferability. We tested how the strategy used to choose predictors impacts the transferability of SDMs at a cross-continental scale. North America, Euras...
Chapter
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In a time of ecological crisis and on a man-made planet landscape architects are faced with major new challenges. We discuss growing experiences at the Department of Landscape Architecture at HSR in Rapperswil when preparing Bachelor and Master students in landscape architecture with these novel challenges of their profession at all levels of the c...
Article
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Recent years have seen a surge of interest in understanding patterns and processes of plant invasions into mountains. Here, we synthesise current knowledge about the spread of non-native plants along elevation gradients, emphasising the current status and impacts that these species have in alpine ecosystems. Globally, invasions along elevation grad...
Chapter
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Landschaft und Freiraum im urbanen und periurbanen Raum – in diesem Buch haben sich Autorinnen und Autoren des Instituts für Landschaft und Freiraum (ILF) der HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil und Gastautoren mit der Landschafts- und Freiraumqualität beschäftigt. Zur Sprache kamen grundsätzliche Aspekte der Landschaftsentwicklung. Was bedeutet...
Chapter
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«Landschaftsqualität im urbanen und periurbanen Raum» – der Titel des vorliegenden Buches ist gleichsam Programm für alle in der Landschaft tätigen Akteurinnen und Akteure. Diese sind auch die Adressaten, an die sich diese Publikation richtet. Den hier vorgestellten Überlegungen liegt die Landschaftsdefinition der Europäischen Landschaftskonvention...
Book
Commented bibliography of literature on all aspects of island biology: geography, biogeography, ecology, evolution, conservation, plants, animals, sustainable development, individual island groups.
Chapter
Ich diskutiere vier Themenbereiche, bei welchen wir neue Ideen wagen sollten, um die Biodiversität in einem vom Menschen dominierten Zeitalter, dem Anthropozän, zu retten. • Erstens darf der Naturschutz nicht nur ein Thema für Spezialisten und Liebhaber sein, sondern muss die gesamte Bevölkerung ansprechen. Das wird nur funktionieren, wenn viele ve...
Article
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Aim Higher-elevation areas on islands and continental mountains tend to be separated by longer distances, predicting higher endemism at higher elevations; our study is the first to test the generality of the predicted pattern. We also compare it empirically with contrasting expectations from hypotheses invoking higher speciation with area, temperat...