Till Kleinebecker

Till Kleinebecker
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen | JLU · Division of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning

Professor

About

104
Publications
70,432
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Introduction
In the Division of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning, we concentrate on effects of climate change, land use, and invasive species on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning from plot to landscape scale using field-based methods and remote sensing approaches. Beside basic research, we work on applied aspects of species and nature conservation as well as the restoration of ecosystems and their functions. We are a curious, open and interdisciplenay working group that covers a broad spectrum of topics and methods, both in research and teaching.

Publications

Publications (104)
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...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Context Combining field-based assessments with remote-sensing proxies of landscape patterns provides the opportunity to monitor terrestrial ecosystem health status in support of sustainable development goals (SDG). Objectives Linking qualitative field data with quantitative remote-sensing imagery to map terrestrial ecosystem health (SDG15.3.1 “lan...
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
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Context Current diversity and species composition of ecological communities can often not exclusively be explained by present land use and landscape structure. Historical land use may have considerably influenced ecosystems and their properties for decades and centuries. Objectives We analysed the effects of present and historical landscape struct...
Article
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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...
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
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Climate change, increasing environmental pollution, continuous loss of biodiversity, and a growing human population with increasing food demand, threaten the functioning of agro-ecosystems and their contribution to people and society. Agroforestry systems promise a number of benefits to enhance nature's contributions to people. There are a wide ran...
Article
Peatlands are long-term sinks of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) that are exposed to anthropogenic pressure. This has often induced a vegetation shift from peat mosses towards increasing presence of vascular plants. However, the impact of this vegetation shift on the sink function of peatlands remains unclear. To address this research gap, we studied C...
Article
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The intensification of food production systems has resulted in landscape simplification, with trees and hedges disappearing from agricultural land, principally in industrialized countries. However, more recently, the potential of agroforestry systems and small woody landscape features (SWFs), e.g., hedgerows, woodlots, and scattered groups of trees...
Article
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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...
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
Aim We assessed the role of mowing machinery and endozoochory by migratory sheep as dispersal vectors in semi‐natural grasslands by comparing the species compositions and traits of species found in the vectors to the regional aboveground vegetation and soil seed bank. Furthermore, we discuss how their interplay may affect the conservation of semi‐n...
Article
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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
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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
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...
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...
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
Both climate change and agricultural intensification are drivers of global nutrient cycles and biodiversity loss. A potentially great environmental threat can arise when these two drivers interact, for example, when farmers try to compensate reduced soil nutrient availability due to drought by the application of liquid organic fertiliser. As dry so...
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
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...
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
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...
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
Full-text available
Aims The aim of this study was to identify how land-use intensity shapes the kinetic properties of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes (EHEs) in rhizosphere soil among and within plant species representing different i) resource acquisition strategies (exploitative (ex) vs. conservative (co) plant species) and ii) response types to land-use intensifica...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands are significant global methane (CH4) sources, but processes governing CH4 dynamics have been predominantly studied in the Northern Hemisphere. Southern hemispheric and tropical bogs can be dominated by cushion-forming vascular plants (e.g. Astelia pumila, Donatia fascicularis). These cushion bogs are found in many (mostly southern) parts...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands are significant global methane (CH4) sources, but processes governing CH4 dynamics have been predominantly studied on the northern hemisphere. Southern hemispheric and tropical bogs can be dominated by cushion-forming vascular plants (e.g. Astelia pumila, Donatia fascicularis). These cushion bogs are found in many (mostly southern) parts...
Article
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1.Rapid growth of the world's human population has increased pressure on landscapes to deliver high levels of multiple ecosystem services, including food and fibre production, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and recreation. However, we currently lack general principles describing how to achieve this landscape multifunctionality. 2.We comb...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amounts of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to understand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litt...
Conference Paper
The Biodiversity Exploratories (www.biodiversity-exploratories.de) are a broad-scale research project with 300 people involved addressing interactions between land-use intensity, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in agricultural grasslands (and managed forests). The project started in 2006 and aims at gathering data for functional biodiversity...
Article
Management intensity modifies soil properties, e.g., organic carbon (Corg) concentrations and soil pH with potential feedbacks on plant diversity. These changes might influence microbial P concentrations (Pmic) in soil representing an important component of the P cycle. Our objectives were to elucidate whether abiotic and biotic variables controlli...
Article
Land-use intensification, nutrient enrichment and enhanced productivity levels are major drivers of the current biodiversity loss in agricultural grasslands. Although these drivers are potentially strongly causally linked, their potential to explain changes in biodiversity can enhance each other and often varies over time. Here, we explored the exp...
Article
The intensification of land use constitutes one of the main drivers of global change and alters nutrient fluxes on all spatial scales, causing landscape-level eutrophication and contamination of natural resources. Changes in soil nutrient concentrations are thus indicative for crucial environmental issues associated with intensive land use. We meas...
Article
Hemiparasitic plants are considered ecosystem engineers because they can modify the interactions between hosts and other organisms. Thereby, they may affect vegetation structure, community dynamics and facilitate coexistence as they are able to reduce interspecific competition by parasitizing selectively on competitive species and promote subordina...
Article
Evidence from experimental grasslands indicated that plant biodiversity modifies the water cycle but it is unclear if this is also true for established land-use systems. Therefore, we investigated how evapotranspiration (ETa), downward flux (DF), and upward flux (UF) in soil are related with land use and plant diversity in agriculturally managed gr...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amount of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to understand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litte...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amounts of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to under-stand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litt...
Article
Land-use intensification, nutrient enrichment and enhanced productivity levels are major drivers of the current biodiversity loss in agricultural grasslands. Although these drivers are potentially strongly causally linked, their potential to explain changes in biodiversity can enhance each other and often varies over time. Here, we explored the exp...
Article
Full-text available
Plant functional traits reflect individual and community ecological strategies. They allow the detection of directional changes in community dynamics and ecosystemic processes, being an additional tool to assess biodiversity than species richness. Analysis of functional patterns in plant communities provides mechanistic insight into biodiversity al...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hemiparasitic plants are considered as ecosystem engineers because they can modify the interactions between hosts and other organisms. Thereby, they may affect vegetation structure, community dynamics and facilitate coexistence as they are able to reduce interspecific competition by parasitizing selectively on competitive species and promote subord...
Article
The restoration of grasslands is one of the primary targets of nature conservation. An easy tool to stimulate the growth of plant species currently absent from the aboveground vegetation but hidden in the “dark”, is to make use of the soil seed bank. Here, seeds of rare and endangered species may still be present. However, the potential contributio...
Article
Full-text available
The vast majority of European grasslands strongly depend on the regular removal of aboveground biomass by agricultural land use, mostly grazing or mowing or a combination of both. These specific management schemes have strong influence on plant diversity and vegetation composition, depending on their particular characteristics and their intensity....
Article
Full-text available
The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered cropland abandonment on a continental scale, which in turn led to carbon accumulation on abandoned land across Eurasia. Previous studies have estimated carbon accumulation rates across Russia based on large-scale modelling. Studies that assess carbon sequestration on abandoned land based on robust...
Article
Questions (1) How does functional composition and diversity respond to different timings and frequencies of mowing or fallow treatment; (2) to which species assembly and related ecosystem processes do these developments correspond; and (3) what is the time course of these developments, and do they reach a stable state? Location North‐western Germa...
Article
Full-text available
Temperate grasslands have suffered from severe habitat loss and degradation worldwide. In Russia, vast areas of forest-steppe grasslands have been converted to cropland during Soviet times, whilst remaining grasslands were often intensively grazed. Contrastingly, the collapse of the Soviet Union have resulted in a massive reduction in livestock num...
Article
Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potential...
Article
Full-text available
Landnutzungsintensivierung ist einer der Hauptgründe des drastischen Rückgangs der Biodiversität im Grünland. Anhand eines umfangreichen Datensatzes von insgesamt 150 Grünland-Untersuchungsflächen aus den Biodiversitäts-Exploratorien untersuchten wir deshalb die Auswirkungen von Landnutzungsintensität und deren Veränderungen über die Jahre auf die...
Article
We investigated urban grasslands to: (1) explore current patterns of plant species richness in high-maintenance vs low-maintenance grasslands, (2) investigate environmental drivers of plant species richness and composition, and (3) derive management recommendations and assess the potential for plant species introduction. Cities of Cologne (50°56′ N...