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I currently work at the Department of Environmental Systems Science( D-USYS) at ETH Zurich. I am broadly interested in plant population and community ecology, especially in combining theoretical models and experiments to understand population and community dynamics under changing environments.
Competition is among the most important factors regulating plant population and community dynamics, but it is not well understood how different vital rates respond to competition and jointly mediate competitive population dynamics and species coexistence. We used integral projection models (IPMs) to model the population growth of 112 pairwise combi...
Competition plays an important role in shaping species’ spatial distributions. However, it remains unclear where and how competition regulates species’ range limits. In a field experiment with plants originating from low and high elevations and conducted across an elevation gradient in the Swiss Alps, we find that both lowland and highland species...
With increasing attention being paid to the consequences of global biodiversity losses, several recent studies have demonstrated that realistic species losses can have larger impacts than random species losses on community productivity and resilience. However, little is known about the effects of the order in which species are lost on biodiversity–...
The artificial fertilization of soils can alter the structure of natural plant communities and exacerbate pathogen emergence and transmission. Although the direct effects of fertilization on disease resistance in plants have received some research attention, its indirect effects of altered community structure on the severity of fungal disease infec...
The hypotheses suggesting that the nature and strength of species interactions should be determined by phylogenetic relatedness have important implications for the understanding of community structure. However, to date, there is limited empirical evidence to support them. At least two basic conditions need to be met in order to expect species inter...
An essential ecosystem service is the dilution effect of biodiversity on disease severity, yet we do not fully understand how this relationship might change with continued climate warming and ecosystem degradation. We designed removal experiments in natural assemblages of Tibetan alpine meadow vegetation by manipulating plot-level plant diversity t...
Climate change can affect species both directly and indirectly, by altering their interactions with competitors, natural enemies and mutualists. As well as altering interactions among species that already co-occur in communities today, climate change is leading to the large-scale reshuffling of species distributions, giving rise to “novel interactions” among species that did not previously co-occur. However, the impacts of novel interactions remain poorly understood. In the NICH project, we are investigating the ecological consequences of novel competitors, and the potential for longer-term evolutionary responses, using a using a series of experiments that simulate future competitive scenarios faced by focal alpine plants at field sites in the western Swiss Alps. These data will be used to explore the consequences of changing competitive interactions for range dynamics under climate change.
To know the relationship between plant diversity and foliar fungal communities under various global change factors and also fertilization.