Nico Eisenhauer

Nico Eisenhauer
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig | iDiv · Experimental Interaction Ecology

Professor

About

548
Publications
306,671
Reads
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19,031
Citations
Introduction
Global environmental change is altering the composition and functioning of ecosystems. My lab group aims to embrace the complexity of terrestrial ecosystems by considering interactions between organisms above and below the ground as well as within and across trophic levels. Main questions: How does environmental change affect the composition and biodiversity of ecosystems? How are shifts in community composition and biodiversity related to the functioning and service provisioning of ecosystems?
Additional affiliations
April 2014 - present
University of Leipzig
Position
  • Professor for Experimental Interaction Ecology
April 2014 - present
Leipzig University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
April 2014 - present

Publications

Publications (548)
Article
Full-text available
Plant diversity generally promotes biomass production, but how the shape of the response curve changes with time remains unclear. This is a critical knowledge gap because the shape of this relationship indicates the extent to which loss of the first few species will influence biomass production. Using two long-term (≥13 years) biodiversity experime...
Article
Full-text available
Recent metaanalyses suggest biodiversity loss affects the functioning of ecosystems to a similar extent as other global environmental change agents. However, the abundance and functioning of soil organisms have been hypothesized to be much less responsive to such changes, particularly in plant diversity, than aboveground variables, although tests o...
Article
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It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that...
Article
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Soil organisms, including earthworms, are a key component of terrestrial ecosystems. However, little is known about their diversity, their distribution, and the threats affecting them. We compiled a global dataset of sampled earthworm communities from 6928 sites in 57 countries as a basis for predicting patterns in earthworm diversity, abundance, a...
Article
Overstorey biodiversity is known to drive multiple ecosystem functions in mature forests. However, the role of understorey biodiversity in regulating the soil microbiome and ecosystem multiservices of these ecosystems is virtually unknown. Here, we collected vegetation and soil data from mature plantation Mediterranean pine forests (100 years old)...
Article
Earthworms are invading soil communities worldwide, and their actions as decomposers and ecosystem engineers are vastly impacting many ecosystem functions. In the northern regions of North America, invasive earthworms are often functionally distinct from the native invertebrate fauna and, thus, typically occupy empty trophic niches in soil food web...
Article
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Understanding global biodiversity change, its drivers, and the ecosystem consequences requires a better appreciation of both the factors that shape soil macrofauna communities and the ecosystem effects of these organisms. The project "sOilFauna" was funded by the synthesis center sDiv (Germany) to address this major gap by forming a community of so...
Article
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Soil microorganisms are central to sustain soil functions and services, like carbon and nutrient cycling. Currently, we only have a limited understanding of the spatial-temporal dynamics of soil microorganisms, restricting our ability to assess long-term effects of climate and land-cover change on microbial roles in soil biogeochemistry. This study...
Preprint
Background: Little is known about the global distribution and environmental drivers of key microbial functional traits such as antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Soils are one of Earth largest reservoirs of ARGs, which are integral for soil microbial competition, and have potential implications for plant and human health. Yet, their diversity and...
Preprint
Numerous studies have demonstrated that biodiversity drives ecosystem functioning, yet there is a lack of knowledge about how biodiversity loss alters ecosystems functioning and stability in the long-term. We report on temporal changes in the species richness–productivity, –stability, –species asynchrony, and –complementarity relationships over 17...
Preprint
The relationship between species body masses and densities is strongly conserved around a three-quarter power law when pooling data across communities. However, studies of local within-community relationships have revealed major deviations from this general pattern, which has profound implications for their stability and functioning. Despite multip...
Article
Climate and land-use change are some of the most profound threats to the biodiversity and functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems. However, potential synergistic effects of these drivers through biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning remain unclear. Here we examined how aridity and land-use (overgrazing and haying) affect above-ground biomass a...
Article
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Earthworms and (tap-)roots impact the soil structure by creating large biopores, affecting infiltration capacity, seepage, nutrient cycling, and soil aeration. Despite the importance of biopores for the functions of soils and the fact that several hundreds of biopores >2 mm in diameter may occur on one square meter of soil, knowledge on the interde...
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
Land-use intensification and climate change are main threats to the abundance and diversity of soil macrofauna. However, little is known about their biomass in response to these concurrent drivers. Here, we investigated the biomass responses of soil macrofauna along a land-use intensity gradient of five land-use regimes (i.e., from extensively-used...
Article
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Fire is a very common disturbance in terrestrial ecosystems and can give rise to significant effects on soil carbon (C) cycling and storage. Here, we conducted a global meta-analysis on the response of soil C cycling and storage across soil profiles (organic layer, 0-5 cm, 0-10 cm, 0-20 cm, and 20-100 cm) to fire reported in 308 studies across 383...
Article
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Background and aims The amount of nitrogen (N) derived from symbiotic N2 fixation by legumes in grasslands might be affected by anthropogenic N and phosphorus (P) inputs, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Methods We evaluated symbiotic N2 fixation in 17 natural and semi-natural grasslands on four continents that are subjected to the sam...
Article
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Growing threats from extreme climatic events and biodiversity loss have raised concerns about their interactive consequences for ecosystem functioning. Evidence suggests biodiversity can buffer ecosystem functioning during such climatic events. However, whether exposure to extreme climatic events will strengthen the biodiversity-dependent buffering...
Article
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Biodiversity drives the maintenance and stability of ecosystem functioning as well as many of nature’s benefits to people, yet people cause substantial biodiversity change. Despite broad consensus about a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF), the underlying mechanisms and their context-dependencies are not well...
Article
The plant productivity and species richness (P-SR) relationship has been a central topic in ecology for decades. It is increasingly recognized that climate resources (CR, temperature and precipitation) might affect the P-SR relationship as (1) the response of plant productivity and species richness to CR are different; (2) plant-plant interactions...
Article
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Microbial necromass is a central component of soil organic matter (SOM), whose man- agement may be essential in mitigating atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate change. Current consensus regards the magnitude of microbial necromass production to be heavily dependent on the carbon use efficiency of microorganisms, which is strongly influenced b...
Article
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Soil biodiversity and related ecosystem functions are neglected in most biodiversity assessments and nature conservation actions. Through an overview of how society, and particularly policy‐makers, have addressed these aspects in the past, we here show that the protection and nature conservation targeting of soil biodiversity has been insufficient....
Article
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Earthworms are considered ecosystem engineers due to their fundamental impact on soil structure, soil processes and on other soil biota. An invasion of non-native earthworm species has altered soils of North America since European settlement, a process currently expanding into still earthworm-free forest ecosystems due to continuous spread and incr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Earthworms and their casts act as biocatalysts and regulators of the biotic and abiotic processes in soil ecosystems. However, the relative importance of the presence of earthworms (direct effects of earthworms) and earthworm casts (indirect effects of earthworms) in affecting other soil biota remains underexplored. In this study, we conducted a fa...
Preprint
Tree species are known to predominantly interact either with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi. However, there is a knowledge gap whether these mycorrhizae differently influence biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships and whether a combination of both can increase community productivity. In 2015, we establishe...
Article
Full-text available
Here we introduce the Soil BON Foodweb Team, a cross-continental collaborative network that aims to monitor soil animal communities and food webs using consistent methodology at a global scale. Soil animals support vital soil processes via soil structure modification, consumption of dead organic matter, and interactions with microbial and plant com...
Article
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Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Data
To characterize the canopy volume of the grassland community, we calculated volume based on the voxelization technique. Hence, for each scanned plot, a voxel grid with a resolution of 5 cm was created, and the volume was then calculated as the product of the cell area and the attributed height. Further, we split scanned plots based on the voxel gri...
Data
We performed a non-destructive measurement of plant community canopy structure and for that we used a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS). We calculate voxel grids of the 3D point clouds we used the function ‘vox’ from the R package VoxR. Volume calculation based on voxel grid generate the variables evenness and center of gravity. To calculate canopy v...
Article
Full-text available
Human-induced global environmental change is predicted to alter the stability and functioning of ecosystems worldwide. Most research in recent decades has focused on studying climate-change effects on aboveground systems, causing a poor understanding of belowground responses. However, gaining knowledge on environmental-change effects on soil biota...
Article
Full-text available
Declining arthropod communities have recently gained a lot of attention with climate and land-use change among the most-frequently discussed drivers. Here, we focus on a seemingly underrepresented driver of arthropod-community decline: biological invasions. For ~12,000 years, earthworms have been absent from wide parts of northern North America, bu...
Article
Full-text available
Global change has dramatic impacts on grassland diversity. However, little is known about how fast species can adapt to diversity loss and how this affects their responses to global change. Here, we performed a common garden experiment testing whether plant responses to global change are influenced by their selection history and the conditioning hi...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing plant diversity commonly enhances standing biomass and other ecosystem functions (i.e., carbon fluxes, water use efficiency, herbivory). The standing biomass is correlated with vegetation volume, which describes plant biomass allocation within a complex canopy structure. As the canopy structure of plant communities is not static througho...
Article
Full-text available
Soil microorganisms are essential for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Although soil microbial communities and functions are linked to tree species composition and diversity, there has been no comprehensive study of the generality or context dependence of these relationships. Here, we examine tree diversity–soil microbial biomass and resp...
Article
Full-text available
Three decades of research have demonstrated that biodiversity can promote the functioning of ecosystems. Yet, it is unclear whether the positive effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning will persist under various types of global environmental change drivers. We conducted a meta‐analysis of 46 factorial experiments manipulating both species...
Preprint
Full-text available
Natural forest is declining globally as the area of planted forest increases. Planted forests are often monocultures, despite results suggesting that higher species richness improves ecosystem functioning and stability. To test if this is generally the case, we performed a meta-analysis of available results. We assessed aboveground carbon stocks in...
Preprint
Background and aims: The amount of nitrogen (N) derived from symbiotic N 2 fixation by legumes in grasslands might be affected by anthropogenic N and phosphorus (P) inputs, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Methods: We evaluated symbiotic N 2 fixation in 17 grasslands on four continents that are subjected to the same full-factorial N and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global change drivers such as anthropogenic nutrient inputs simultaneously alter biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functions such as above ground biomass. These changes are interconnected by complex feedbacks among extinction, invasion, and shifting relative abundance. Here, we use a novel temporal application of the Price equation t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Here we introduce the Soil BON Foodweb Team, a cross-continental collaborative network that aims to monitor soil animal communities and food webs using consistent methodology at a global scale. Soil animals support vital soil processes via soil structure modification, direct consumption of dead organic matter, and interactions with microbial and pl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animals, such as termites, have largely been overlooked as global-scale drivers of biogeochemical cycles 1,2 , despite site-specific findings 3,4 . Deadwood turnover, an important component of the carbon cycle, is driven by multiple decay agents. Studies have focused on temperate systems 5,6 , where microbes dominate decay ⁷ . Microbial decay is se...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soil life supports the functioning and biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. Springtails (Collembola) are among the most abundant soil animals regulating soil fertility and flow of energy through above- and belowground food webs. However, the global distribution of springtail diversity and density, and how these relate to energy fluxes remains un...
Article
Land use is a key factor driving changes in soil carbon (C) cycle and contents worldwide. The priming effect (PE)—CO2 emissions from changed soil organic matter decomposition in response to fresh C inputs—is one of the most unpredictable phenomena associated with C cycling and related nutrient mobilization. Yet, we know very little about the influe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Declining arthropod communities have recently gained a lot of attention with climate and land-use change among the most-frequently discussed drivers. Here, we focus on a seemingly underrepresented driver of arthropod-community decline: biological invasions. For ~12,000 years, earthworms have been absent from wide parts of northern North America, bu...
Article
Plant diversity and plant-related ecosystem functions have been important in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning studies. However, biotic interactions with mycorrhizal fungi have been understudied although they are crucial for plant-resource acquisition. Here, we investigated the effects of tree species richness and tree mycorrhizal type on arbuscul...
Article
Nitrogen (N) deposition poses a threat to terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. However, little is known concerning how the structure and function of litter fauna communities will respond in this context. Here, a gradient of N deposition (0, 20, and 40 kg N ha−1 yr−1) was simulated in a subtropical forest of southwestern Chin...
Preprint
Disturbances alter the diversity and composition of microbial communities, but whether microbiomes from different environments exhibit similar degrees of resistance or rates of recovery has not been evaluated. Here, we synthesized 86 time series of disturbed mammalian, aquatic, and soil microbiomes to examine how the recovery of microbial richness...
Article
Full-text available
National and local governments need to step up efforts to effectively implement the post‐2020 global biodiversity framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity to halt and reverse worsening biodiversity trends. Drawing on recent advances in interdisciplinary biodiversity science, we propose a framework for improved implementation by national...
Article
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Climate change is one of the most pressing threats to humanity, inducing a global increase in temperatures and more frequent extreme climatic events. Considering this, global reforestation initiatives are proposed to capture carbon and mitigate climate change. Global restoration and reforestation programs and their targets have inspired both unpara...
Article
Biodiversity is changing at alarming rates as a result of human activities; yet biodiversity is the basis for ecosystem services upon which humans depend. Most of what we know about past, current, and projected biodiversity trends, as well as the ecosystem consequences of biodiversity change, is based on charismatic species, mostly plants and verte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global change has dramatic impacts on grassland diversity. However, little is known about how fast species can adapt to these changes and how this affects their responses to global change. To close this gap, we performed a common garden experiment testing whether plant responses to global change are influenced by the selection history of the plants...
Article
Full-text available
Diversity loss has been shown to change the soil community; however, little is known about long-term consequences and underlying mechanisms. Here, we investigated how nematode communities are affected by plant species richness and whether this is driven by resource quantity or quality in 15-year-old plant communities of a long-term grassland biodiv...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of altered nutrient supplies and herbivore density on species diversity vary with spatial scale, because coexistence mechanisms are scale dependent. This scale dependence may alter the shape of the species–area relationship (SAR), which can be described by changes in species richness (S) as a power function of the sample area (A): S = c...
Article
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Across the globe, ecological communities are confronted with multiple global environmental change drivers, and they are responding in complex ways ranging from behavioral, physiological, and morphological changes within populations to changes in community composition and food web structure with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A better under...
Article
There is increasing evidence that spatial and temporal dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem functions play an essential role in biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships. Despite the known importance of soil processes for forest ecosystems, belowground functions in response to tree diversity and spatio‐temporal dynamics of ecological...
Article
Plant damage by invertebrate herbivores and pathogens influences the dynamics of grassland ecosystems, but anthropogenic changes in nitrogen and phosphorus availability can modify these relationships. Using a globally‐distributed experiment, we describe leaf damage on 153 plant taxa from twenty‐seven grasslands worldwide, under ambient conditions a...
Article
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Global change alters ecological communities with consequences for ecosystem processes. Such processes and functions are a central aspect of ecological research and vital to understanding and mitigating the consequences of global change, but also those of other drivers of change in organism communities. In this context, the concept of energy flux th...
Article
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1. An emerging research line in conservation ecology addresses how environmental change drivers may cause the biotic homogenization of ecological communities by shifts in species diversity and community composition. While the drivers have been explored in unmanaged ecosystems and managed agricultural systems, this issue has received limited attenti...
Article
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Deforestation, plantation expansion, and other human activities in tropical ecosystems are often associated with biological invasions. These processes have been studied for above-ground organisms, but associated changes below the ground have received little attention. We surveyed rainforest and plantation systems in Jambi province, Sumatra, Indones...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial respiration is critical for soil carbon balance and ecosystem functioning. Previous studies suggest that plant diversity influences soil microbial communities and their respiration. Yet, the linkages between tree diversity, microbial biomass, microbial diversity, and microbial functioning have rarely been explored. In this study, we measu...
Article
Full-text available
Progressing climate change and intensified land‐use exert unprecedented pressures on soil microbial communities, thus endangering the essential ecosystem functions they provide. However, these global change factors do not act in isolation from each other, making ecosystem consequences hard to predict. To address this knowledge gap, we tested the in...
Article
Ecosystems world-wide experience changes in species composition in response to natural and anthropogenic changes in environmental conditions. Research to date has greatly improved our understanding of how species affect focal ecosystem functions. However, because measurements of multiple ecosystem functions have not been consistently justified for...