Norbert Hölzel

Norbert Hölzel
University of Münster | WWU · Institute of Landscape Ecology (ILÖK)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c.

About

249
Publications
130,550
Reads
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8,254
Citations
Introduction
Since 2007 I am professor for biodiversity and ecosystem research at the University of Münster leading a group of > 20 people focussing on community and ecosystem ecology, biodiversity research, global change ecology and ecological restoration . Current projects are funded by the DFG (Bioiversity Exploratories) and the BMBF (Sustainable Land Management). I am associated editor of Applied Vegetation Science and Flora.
Additional affiliations
October 2007 - present
University of Münster
Position
  • Professor (Full)
October 2005 - September 2007
University of Münster
Position
  • Professor
May 1996 - May 2005
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
November 1991 - January 1995
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Field of study
  • Forest Science; Geobotany and Soil Science

Publications

Publications (249)
Article
1.The species richness–productivity relationship is one of the most debated patterns in ecology. Species coexistence theory suggests that it could be tightly linked to the type of nutrient limitation (NL: no limitation, single‐nutrient limitation, co‐limitation by several nutrients). Yet effects of NL on the species richness–productivity relationsh...
Article
Aim Intensification of land use strongly impacts plant communities by causing shifts in taxonomic and functional composition. Mechanisms of land‐use induced biodiversity losses have been described for temperate grasslands, but a quantitative assessment of species‐specific occurrence optima and maximum tolerance (niche breadth) to land‐use intensity...
Article
Temperate grasslands are globally widespread, play an important role as carbon storage, and harbor unique biodiversity. Livestock grazing is the most widespread land use in temperate grasslands, and understanding the impact of grazing on grassland ecosystems is therefore important. However, monitoring grazing pressure and how it changes is hampered...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, grasslands are shaped by fire and herbivory, and grassland plants are adapted to these disturbances. However, temperate grasslands have been hotspots of land-use change, and how such changes affect interrelations between herbivory, fire and vegetation are poorly understood. Such land-use changes are widespread on the Eurasian steppe, wher...
Article
Wildfires are relatively rare in subarctic tundra ecosystems, but they can strongly change ecosystem properties. Short-term fire effects on subarctic tundra vegetation are well documented, but long-term vegetation recovery has been studied less. The frequency of tundra fires will increase with climate warming. Understanding the long-term effects of...
Article
Full-text available
Grassland management intensity influences nutrient cycling both directly, by changing nutrient inputs and outputs from the ecosystem, and indirectly, by altering the nutrient content, and the diversity and functional composition of plant and microbial communities. However, the relative importance of these direct and indirect processes for the leach...
Article
1) The goal of this study was to evaluate to what extent wild ungulates (fallow deer) can contribute to the maintenance of semi‐natural calcareous grasslands, which are a threatened habitat type (natura 2000 code *6210). 2) In a ten‐year exclosure experiment we tested the effects of ungulate foraging using three treatments: (A) control with combine...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge on the spatial distribution of land use/land cover (LULC) change is critical for developing sustainable socioeconomic and ecological pathways. Here we aimed to explore the rural landscape transformation through the analysis of LULC spatio-temporal dynamics in the entire Vietnamese Mekong Delta over the recent three decades, using Landsat...
Article
Full-text available
Fires are predicted to increase in Arctic regions due to ongoing climate change. Tundra fires can alter carbon and nutrient cycling and release a substantial quantity of greenhouse gases with global consequences. Yet, the long-term effects of tundra fires on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks and cycling are still unclear. Here we used a space-for-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Experimental evidence shows that grassland plant diversity enhances ecosystem functioning. Yet, the transfer of results from controlled biodiversity experiments to naturally assembled ‘real world’ ecosystems remains challenging. Here, we address this issue by experimentally sowing locally absent plant species in 73 agricultural grasslands along a l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Experimental evidence shows that grassland plant diversity enhances ecosystem functioning. Yet, the transfer of results from controlled biodiversity experiments to naturally assembled ‘real world’ ecosystems remains challenging. Here, we address this issue by experimentally sowing locally absent plant species in 73 agricultural grasslands along a l...
Poster
Full-text available
Den Wäldern wird sowohl hinsichtlich ihrer Kohlenstoffbindungs-kapazität als auch der biologischen Vielfalt eine große Bedeutung beigemessen. Die konkreten Effekte der Bewirtschaftung auf diese Faktoren sind aber noch unzureichend geklärt. Für jeden Waldbestand wird ein Forest Management Index (ForMI,nach Kahl und Bauhus,2014) errechnet und die Eff...
Article
Which vegetation and soil parameters limit species establishment in restored grasslands? Do these parameters operate predominantly on a fine or a community scale? White Carpathian Mts., SE Czech Republic. We compared 16 grasslands restored on former arable land with 9 well‐preserved reference grasslands. We sampled cover of plant species in plots o...
Article
Grassland ecosystems provide important ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and primary production that are affected by land-use intensity. To assess the effects of land-use intensity, operational and sensitive ecological indicators that integrate effects of grassland management on ecosystem processes such as organic matter turnover are need...
Article
The severity of wildfires increases globally, and return intervals decrease. Fires can benefit biodiversity, as post-burn early successional stages provide diverse habitats and niches for many species. How fire disturbance affects niche use and niche overlap of species is poorly understood so far. We studied the effect of anthropogenic fire on bree...
Article
Full-text available
Plant belowground organs perform essential functions, including water and nutrient uptake, anchorage, vegetative reproduction and recruitment of mutualistic soil microbiota. Recently, multivariate analyses showed that root traits of species can largely be linked to a ‘conservation’ and a ‘collaboration’ gradient. Here, we tested whether this specie...
Article
Full-text available
Acidobacteria occur in a large variety of ecosystems worldwide and are particularly abundant and highly diverse in soils. In spite of their diversity, only few species have been characterized to date which makes Acidobacteria one of the most poorly understood phyla among the domain Bacteria. We used a culture-independent niche modeling approach to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fires are predicted to increase in Arctic regions due to ongoing climate change. Tundra fires can alter carbon and nutrient cycling and release a substantial amount of greenhouse gases with global consequences. Yet, the long-term effects of tundra fires on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks and cycling are still unclear. Here we used a space-for-ti...
Article
Land-use intensification has contrasting effects on different ecosystem services, often leading to land-use conflicts. While multiple studies have demonstrated how landscape-scale strategies can minimise the trade-off between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation, little is known about which land-use strategies maximise the landscap...
Article
Restoring habitats degraded by intensive agriculture is challenging, and the resulting communities often have lower quality and host fewer species than reference ecosystems. To improve restoration outputs, we need to understand what limits both establishment and performance of target species in restored populations. In this study, we focused on gra...
Article
Full-text available
Arable vegetation of calcareous soils, the plant community alliance known as Caucalidion, has been newly elected “Plant community of the Year 2022”. In this review article, we provide an overview of the Caucalidion in Germany, its species composition, life cycle and biodiversity, distribution, habitat and phytosociological variation, its history, r...
Article
Fire shapes the world’s terrestrial ecosystems and has been influencing biodiversity patterns for millennia. Anthropogenic drivers alter fire regimes. Wildfires can amplify changes in the structure, biodiversity and functioning of the fast‐warming tundra ecosystem. However, there is little evidence available, how these fires affect species diversit...
Article
Full-text available
Wildflower strips established on arable fields or intensively used grassland are an important tool for supporting biodiversity in impoverished landscapes. They provide ecosystem services like resources for pollinators, and, if they are based on perennial native plants, also plant diversity as well as nesting and wintering habitats for insects. To s...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing biodiversity status and trends in plant communities is critical for understanding, quantifying and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems. Vegetation plots record the occurrence or abundance of all plant species co‐occurring within delimited local areas. This allows species absences to be inferred, information seldom provid...
Article
Full-text available
Experiments showed that biodiversity increases grassland productivity and nutrient exploitation, potentially reducing fertiliser needs. Enhancing biodiversity could improve P-use efficiency of grasslands, which is beneficial given that rock-derived P fertilisers are expected to become scarce in the future. Here, we show in a biodiversity experiment...
Article
Full-text available
Litter decomposition is a key process for carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and is mainly controlled by environmental conditions, substrate quantity, and quality as well as microbial community abundance and composition. In particular, the effects of climate and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition on litter decomposition and its...
Article
Questions Herbivory is a fundamental ecological interaction underlying energy and mass flow between primary producers and consumers. The ecological theory describes plant biomass quality in terms of food for herbivores as a functional effect trait. We asked how leaf functional traits affect insect herbivory in a species-rich meadow community. Loca...
Preprint
1. Plant belowground organs perform essential functions, including water and nutrient uptake, anchorage, vegetative reproduction and recruitment of mutualistic soil microbiota. Determining how belowground traits jointly determine dimensions of the trait space and how these dimensions are linked to environmental conditions would further advance our...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. However, understanding how different components of land use drive biodiversity loss requires the investigation of multiple trophic levels across spatial scales. Using data from 150 agricultural grasslands in central Europe, we assess the influence of multiple components of local-and l...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use intensification poses major threats to biodiversity, such as to insect herbivore communities. The stability of these communities depends on interactions linking herbivores and host plants. How interaction network structure begets robustness, and thus stability, in different ecosystems and how network structure and robustness are altered al...
Article
Full-text available
Land‐use intensification has caused dramatic declines in grassland biodiversity, and in Europe this decline has not yet been halted. Therefore, a major challenge in ecological restoration is to effectively restore plant diversity in permanent grasslands, i.e. long‐term managed grassland not being used as cropland. As species richness is often limit...
Article
Full-text available
The dramatic decline in the once superabundant Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola, a widely distributed Eurasian songbird, triggered worldwidemedia interest. Five years after the initial publication, we set out to give an update on the status of this critically endangered species, the conservation actions that followed, and the lessons that c...
Article
Full-text available
Seed sourcing for restoration measures is a currently highly debated issue in conservation ecology. Where to take the seeds from, if reintroduction of plant species is necessary? In many countries, seed transfer zones have been defined to preserve genetic variability and to provide locally adapted plants. However, delineation of seed transfer zones...
Article
Fire is a major driver of global vegetation patterns. It strongly reduces litter and thus alters physical and chemical properties of the environment. Studies investigating the interplay of fire and litter are scarce, and wetland ecosystems are strongly under-represented in research focusing on litter dynamics. We present data on short-term effects...
Article
Full-text available
Large and ecologically functioning steppe complexes have been lost historically across the globe, but recent land‐use changes may allow the reversal of this trend in some regions. We aimed to develop and map indicators of changing human influence using satellite imagery and historical maps, and to use these indicators to identify areas for broad‐sc...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use intensification can increase provisioning ecosystem services, such as food and timber production, but it also drives changes in ecosystem functioning and biodiversity loss, which may ultimately compromise human wellbeing. To understand how changes in land-use intensity affect the relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and...
Article
Full-text available
Dry calcareous grasslands are one of the most species-rich habitats in the cultural landscape of Central Europe. The species richness largely resulted from the activities of humans and their livestock. Due to large-scale abandonment driven by socioeconomic changes during the last century, shrub encroachment is one of the main threats to many orchid...
Article
Full-text available
A large body of research shows that biodiversity loss can reduce ecosystem functioning. However, much of the evidence for this relationship is drawn from biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments in which biodiversity loss is simulated by randomly assembling communities of varying species diversity, and ecosystem functions are measured. This r...
Article
Full-text available
Zu den besonders gefährdeten Pflanzengesellschaften Deutschlands zählen Hartholz-Auenwälder (Ficario-Ulmetum, Syn.: Querco-Ulmetum), weshalb diese von der Floristisch-soziologischen Arbeits-gemeinschaft als "Pflanzengesellschaft des Jahres 2021" ausgewählt wurden. Hartholz-Auenwälder sind Laubwald-Ökosysteme der planaren und kollinen Stufe und beze...
Article
Full-text available
Large and ecologically functioning steppe complexes have been lost historically across the globe, but recent land‐use changes may allow the reversal of this trend in some regions. We aimed to develop and map indicators of changing human influence using satellite imagery and historical maps, and to use these indicators to identify areas for broad‐sc...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability of an ecosystem to deliver multiple functions at high levels (multifunctionality) typically increases with biodiversity but there is substantial variation in the strength and direction of biodiversity effects, suggesting context-dependency. However, the drivers of this context dependency have not been identified and understood in compar...
Article
Full-text available
Fire is an important disturbance in grassland ecosystems. Anthropogenic factors, especially land use, have drastically altered fire regimes in many regions, but how changing land-use intensity affects fire patterns remains weakly understood. Here, we reconstruct changes in fire regimes between 1989 and 2016 for the understudied Eurasian steppes, wh...
Article
Full-text available
Unstructured citizen-science data are increasingly used for analysing the abundance and distribution of species. Here we test the usefulness of such data to predict the seasonal distribution of migratory songbirds, and to analyse patterns of migratory connectivity. We used bird occurrence data from eBird, one of the largest global citizen science d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Land-use intensification has contrasting effects on different ecosystem services, often leading to land-use conflicts. Multiple studies, especially within the ‘land-sharing versus land-sparing’ debate, have demonstrated how landscape-scale strategies can minimise the trade-off between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation. However,...
Article
Full-text available
We here respond to Nunez et al. (Reg Environ Chang 20:39, 2020), recently published in Regional Environmental Change. Nunez et al. project biodiversity responses to land-use and climate change in Central Asia. Their projections are based on scenarios of changing socio-economic and environmental conditions for the years 2040, 2070, and 2100. We sugg...
Article
Nitrogen (N) enrichment has direct effects on ecosystem functioning by altering soil abiotic conditions and indirect effects by reducing plant diversity and shifting plant functional composition from dominance by slow to fast growing species. Litter decomposition is a key ecosystem function and is affected by N enrichment either by a change in litt...
Article
Full-text available
Im Projekt „Fit für den Klimawandel“ wurden von Naturschutz, Forst und Wissenschaft gemeinsam Maßnahmen entwickelt und umgesetzt, um feuchte Wälder und Moorstandorte im Münsterland auf Klimaveränderungen vorzubereiten, soweit dies möglich ist. Hierzu wurden Altholzinseln geschaffen, um die Resilienz und Kohlenstoffspeicherung zu erhöhen, das Wasser...
Article
Full-text available
Social, burrowing mammals such as prairie dogs, ground squirrels or marmots are keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Grasslands have been converted into cropland or pastures globally, yet it remains virtually unknown how this has affected the biogeography of burrowing mammals, as efficient, broad‐scale survey methods are lacking. We aimed to t...
Article
Full-text available
As for the first time in 2019 the ‘Floristisch-soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (FlorSoz)’ introduces the ‘Plant Community of the Year 2020’ for Germany. The FlorSoz proposal aims to alert the public that the conservation of endangered plant communities and their biodiversity is essential. For the year 2020 the plant community of mat-grass swards...
Article
The 150 grassland plots were located in three study regions in Germany, 50 in each region. The dataset describes the yearly grassland management for each grassland plot using 116 variables. General information includes plot identifier, study region and survey year. Additionally, grassland plot characteristics describe the presence and starting year...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wildfires are relatively rare in subarctic tundra ecosystems, but they can strongly change ecosystem properties. Short-term fire effects on subarctic tundra vegetation are well documented, but long-term vegetation recovery has been studied less. The frequency of tundra fires will increase with climate warming. Understanding the long-term effects of...
Article
Full-text available
1.Land‐use intensification drives changes to microbial communities and the soil functions they regulate, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood as land use can affect soil communities both directly (e.g. via changes to soil fertility) and indirectly (e.g. via changes to plant inputs). The speed of microbial responses is a...
Preprint
Full-text available
A large body of research shows that biodiversity loss can reduce ecosystem functioning, thus providing support for the conservation of biological diversity. Much of the evidence for this relationship is drawn from biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments (hereafter: biodiversity experiments), in which biodiversity loss is simulated by randoml...
Article
Achieving high intraspecific genetic diversity is a critical goal in ecological restoration as it increases the adaptive potential and long‐term resilience of populations. Thus, we investigated genetic diversity within and between pristine sites in a fossil floodplain and compared it to sites restored by hay‐transfer between 1997 and 2014. RAD‐seq...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nitrogen (N) enrichment has direct effects on ecosystem functioning by altering soil abiotic conditions and indirect effects by reducing plant diversity and shifting plant functional composition from dominance by slow to fast growing species. Litter decomposition is a key ecosystem function and is affected by N enrichment either by a change in litt...
Article
1.Drivers of ecosystem stability have been a major topic in ecology for decades. Most studies have focused on the influence of species richness on ecosystem stability and found positive diversity‐stability relationships. However, land use and abiotic factors shape species richness and functional composition of plant communities and may override spe...
Article
Elevational gradients are often used to quantify how traits of plant species respond to abiotic and biotic environmental variations. Yet, such analyses are frequently restricted spatially and applied along single slopes or mountain ranges. Since we know little on the response of intraspecific leaf traits to elevation across the globe, we here perfo...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires affect biodiversity at multiple levels. While vegetation is directly changed by fire events, animals are often indirectly affected through changes in habitat and food availability. Globally, fire frequency and the extent of fires are predicted to increase in the future. The impact of fire on the biodiversity of temperate wetlands has gain...