Tobias Kuemmerle

Tobias Kuemmerle
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin · Department of Geography

PhD

About

346
Publications
174,515
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
18,046
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2013 - present
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • Member
January 2012 - present
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Position
  • Head of Department

Publications

Publications (346)
Preprint
ContextBehavioral adjustments by large carnivores can be a key factor facilitating their coexistence with people in shared landscapes. Landscape composition might be a key factor determining how large carnivores can adapt to occurring alongside humans, yet broad-scale analyses investigating adjustments of habitat use across large gradients of human...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical dry woodlands are rapidly being lost to agricultural expansion, but how deforestation dynamics play out in these woodlands remains poorly understood. We have developed an approach to detect and map high-level patterns of deforestation frontiers, that is, the expansion of woodland loss across continents in unprecedented spatio-temporal deta...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores are making remarkable comebacks in Europe, but how this affects human-wildlife conflict remains unclear. Rebounding carnivore populations lead to increasing livestock depredation, which in turn leads to greater economic losses for farmers. However, returning carnivores could also influence the behavior of wild ungulates, which are...
Article
International funding is increasingly important in supporting conservation in mega-biodiverse countries. However, it remains unclear which donors invest in which conservation objectives and where, making it difficult to identify gaps and key actors to influence. Here we identified 1947 foreign-aided conservation projects in South America's major de...
Article
Full-text available
Poaching is driving many species towards extinction, and lowering poaching pressure is, therefore, a conservation priority. This requires understanding where poaching pressure is high, and which factors determine these spatial patterns. But the cryptic and illegal nature of poaching makes this difficult. Ranger patrol data, typically recorded in pr...
Article
Hunting is a widespread but often overlooked land-use activity, providing major benefits to society. Hunting takes place in most landscapes, yet it remains unclear which types of landscapes foster or dampen hunting-related services, and how hunting relates to other land uses. A better understanding of these relationships is key for sustainable land...
Article
Full-text available
Land use is central to addressing sustainability issues, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable energy. In this paper, we synthesize knowledge accumulated in land system science, the integrated study of terrestrial social-ecological systems, into 10 hard truths that have strong, gene...
Article
Mountain ungulates around the world have been decimated to small, fragmented populations. Restoring these species often is limited by inadequate information on where suitable habitat is found, and which restoration measures would help to increase and link existing populations. We developed an approach to spatially target threat-specific restoration...
Article
Land-use change is a global threat to biodiversity, but how land-use change affects species beyond the direct effect of habitat loss remains poorly understood. We developed an approach to isolate and map the direct and indirect effects of agricultural expansion on species of conservation concern, using the threatened giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tr...
Article
Tropical dry forests harbor major carbon stocks but are disappearing rapidly across the globe as agriculture expands into them. Unfortunately, carbon emissions from deforestation in dry forests remain poorly understood as high spatial-temporal and vertical heterogeneity complicate biomass mapping. Here, we use a novel Gradient Boosted Regression fr...
Article
Global biodiversity is under high and rising anthropogenic pressure. Yet, how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional facets of biodiversity are affected by different threats over time is unclear. This is particularly true for the two main drivers of the current biodiversity crisis: habitat destruction and overexploitation. We provide the first...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives We identified safe dispersal corridors and conflict-prone movement bottlenecks for Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) between protected areas in the Alborz Mountains, Iran, by mapping habitat, landscape permeability, and conflict risk. We then identified priority areas for conservation interventions according to the intensities...
Preprint
Agricultural expansion into tropical and subtropical forests often leads to major social-ecological trade-offs. Yet, despite ever-more detailed information on where deforestation occurs, how agriculture expands into forests remains unclear. Here, we developed and mapped a novel set of metrics that quantify agricultural frontier processes at unprece...
Article
Full-text available
International funding is increasingly important in supporting conservation in mega-biodiverse countries. However, it remains unclear which donors invest in which conservation objectives and where, making it difficult to identify gaps and key actors to influence. Here we identified 1947 foreign-aided conservation projects in South America's major de...
Article
Full-text available
Unprecedented amounts of analysis‐ready Earth Observation (EO) data, combined with increasing computational power and new algorithms, offer novel opportunities for analysing ecosystem dynamics across large geographic extents, and to support conservation planning and action. Much research effort has gone into developing global EO‐based land‐cover an...
Article
Armed conflicts have devastating humanitarian consequences, both direct and indirect. A crucial yet overlooked outcome is the disruption of local agricultural production and the consequent erosion of food security in war-ridden regions.
Article
How does armed conflict influence tropical forest loss? For Colombia, both enhancing and reducing effect estimates have been reported. However, a lack of causal methodology has prevented establishing clear causal links between these two variables. In this work, we propose a class of causal models for spatio-temporal stochastic processes which allow...
Article
Full-text available
Both the number and the extent of protected areas have grown considerably in recent years, but evaluations of their effectiveness remain partial and are hard to compare across cases. To overcome this situation, first, we suggest reserving the term effectiveness solely for assessing protected area outcomes, to clearly distinguish this from managemen...
Article
Agricultural expansion into subtropical and tropical forests causes major environmental damage, but its wider social impacts often remain hidden. Forest-dependent smallholders are particularly strongly impacted, as they crucially rely on forest resources, are typically poor, and often lack institutional support. Our goal was to assess forest-smallh...
Article
Full-text available
Archetype analysis is a key tool in landscape and sustainability research to organize social-ecological complexity and to identify social-ecological systems (SESs). While inductive archetype analysis can characterize the diversity of SESs within a region, deductively derived archetypes have greater interpretative power to compare across regions. He...
Article
Full-text available
Grasslands are important for global biodiversity, food security, and climate change analyses, which makes mapping and monitoring of vegetation changes in grasslands necessary to better understand, sustainably manage, and protect these ecosystems. However, grassland vegetation monitoring at spatial and temporal resolution relevant to land management...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the spatio‐temporal distribution of ungulates is important for effective wildlife management, particularly for economically and ecologically important species such as wild boar (Sus scrofa). Wild boars are generally considered to exhibit substantial behavioral flexibility, but it is unclear how their behavior varies across different c...
Article
Climate change disproportionately threatens alpine species, by reducing available habitat and by isolating their populations. These pressures are particularly relevant for rear-edge populations, which typically occupy more marginal habitat compared to populations at the core of species' ranges. We studied Caucasian grouse Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi in t...
Article
Strong trade-offs between agriculture and the environment occur in deforestation frontiers, particularly in the world's rapidly disappearing tropical and subtropical dry forests. Pathways to mitigate these trade-offs are often unclear, as well as how deforestation or different policies alter the option space of available pathways. Using a spatial o...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have transformed most landscapes across the globe, forcing other species to adapt in order to persist in increasingly anthropogenic landscapes. Wide-ranging solitary species, such as wild felids, struggle particularly in such landscapes. Conservation planning and management for their long-term persistence critically depends on understanding...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests, defined here as forests where the signs of human impacts, if any, are strongly blurred due to decades without forest management, are scarce in Europe and continue to disappear. Despite these losses, we know little about where these forests occur. Here, we present a comprehensive geodatabase and map of Europe’s known primary forests...
Article
High conservation value forests (HCVF) are critically important for biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning, but face manifold threats. Where systematic HCVF inventories are missing, such as in parts of Eastern Europe, these forests remain largely unacknowledged and therefore often unprotected. Here, we propose a novel, transferable approac...
Article
Full-text available
Forest loss in the tropics affects large areas, but whereas full forest conversions are routinely assessed, forest degradation patters remain often unclear. This is particularly so for the world’s tropical dry forests, where remote sensing of forest disturbances is challenging due to high canopy complexity, strong phenology and climate variability,...
Article
Full-text available
Context Better balancing agricultural production and biodiversity conservation is a central goal for many landscapes. Yet, empirical work on how to best achieve such a balance has focused mainly on the local scale, thereby disregarding that landscape context might mediate biodiversity-agriculture trade-offs. Objectives Focusing on vertebrates in th...
Article
Full-text available
As wild areas disappear and agricultural lands expand, understanding how people and wildlife can coexist becomes increasingly important. Human–wildlife conflicts (HWCs) are obstacles to coexistence and negatively affect both wildlife populations and the livelihood of people. To facilitate coexistence, a number of frameworks have been developed to b...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores are currently disappearing from many world regions due to habitat loss, prey depletion, and persecution. Ensuring large carnivore persistence requires safeguarding and sometimes facilitating the expansion of their populations. Understanding which conservation strategies, such as reducing persecution or restoring prey, are most effe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Strong trade-offs between agriculture and the environment occur in deforestation frontiers, particularly in the world’s rapidly disappearing tropical and subtropical dry forests. Pathways to mitigate these trade-offs are often unclear, as well as how deforestation or different policies alter the option space of available pathways. Using a spatial o...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change disproportionately threatens alpine species, by reducing available habitat and by isolating their populations. These pressures are particularly relevant for rear-edge populations, which typically occupy more marginal habitat compared to populations at the core of species' ranges. We studied Caucasian grouse Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi in t...
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity is under high and rising anthropogenic pressure. Yet, how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional facets of biodiversity are affected by different threats over time is unclear. This is particularly true for the two main drivers of the current biodiversity crisis: habitat destruction and overexploitation. We provide the first...
Article
Maintaining or restoring connectivity among wildlife populations is a primary strategy to overcome the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation. Yet, current connectivity planning efforts typically assess landscape resistance, the ability of organisms to cross various biophysical elements in a landscape, while overlooking the various ways in which...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use change is a root cause of the extinction crisis, but links between habitat change and biodiversity loss are not fully understood. While there is evidence that habitat loss is an important extinction driver, the relevance of habitat fragmentation remains debated. Moreover, while time delays of biodiversity responses to habitat transformatio...
Article
Up‐to‐date and fine‐scale habitat information is essential for managing and conserving wildlife. Studies assessing wildlife habitat commonly rely on categorical land‐cover maps as predictors in habitat models. However, broad land‐cover categories often do not adequately capture key habitat features and generating robust land‐cover maps is challengi...
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
Disturbances play a key role in driving forest ecosystem dynamics, but how disturbances shape wildlife habitat across space and time often remains unclear. A major reason for this is a lack of information about changes in habitat suitability across large areas and longer time periods. Here, we use a novel approach based on Landsat satellite image t...
Article
Full-text available
Primary forests are critical for forest biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services. In Europe, these forests are particularly scarce and it is unclear whether they are sufficiently protected. Here we aim to: (a) understand whether extant primary forests are representative of the range of naturally occurring forest types, (b) identify forest ty...
Article
Full-text available
Land-use change is a global threat to biodiversity, but how land-use change affects species beyond the direct effect of habitat loss remains poorly understood. We developed an approach to isolate and map the direct and indirect effects of agricultural expansion on species of conservation concern, using the threatened giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tr...
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
Mountainous regions are changing rapidly across the world due to both land-use change and climate change. Given the importance of mountainous regions for ecosystem services and endemic biodiversity, monitoring these changes is essential. Satellite data provide a great resource to map land-cover change in mountainous regions, however mapping is espe...
Article
Full-text available
Mountain ungulates around the world have been decimated to small, fragmented populations. Restoring these species often is limited by inadequate information on where suitable habitat is found, and which restoration measures would help to increase and link existing populations. We developed an approach to spatially target threat-specific restoration...
Article
Full-text available
Land system science and affiliated research linked to sustainability require improved understanding and theorization of land and its change as a social-ecological system (SES). The absence of a general land-use theory, anchored in the social subsystem but with explicit links to the environmental subsystem, hampers this effort. Drawing on land-use e...
Article
Trade agreements could help to protect human rights, critical ecosystems, and the climate—but only if sustainability becomes a cornerstone of international trade. The EU-Mercosur trade agreement fails to meet our three tenets of sustainable trade agreements: (1) inclusion of local communities, (2) transparency mechanisms to trace commodities and pr...
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
Where agriculture expands into tropical and subtropical forests, social‐ecological impacts are typically strong. However, where and how frontier development impacts on ecosystem functioning and services is often unclear, including which services trade off against agricultural production. This constitutes a major barrier towards planning for more su...
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
Context - Many large carnivores depend on habitat patches outside protected areas, as well as safe corridors between them. However, corridor assessments typically ignore potential conflicts between carnivores and people, which can undermine corridor effectiveness and thus conservation success. Objectives - We identified safe dispersal corridors and...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are vital for global biodiversity, carbon storage and local livelihoods, yet they are increasingly under threat from human activities. Large-scale land acquisitions have emerged as an important mechanism linking global resource demands to forests in the Global South, yet their influence on tropical deforestation remains unclear. He...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how biodiversity responds to intensifying agriculture is critical to mitigating the trade‐offs between them. These trade‐offs are particularly strong in tropical and subtropical deforestation frontiers, yet it remains unclear how changing landscape context in such frontiers alters agriculture–biodiversity trade–offs. We focus on the A...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural expansion drives biodiversity loss globally, but impact assessments are biased towards recent time periods. This can lead to a gross underestimation of species declines in response to habitat loss, especially when species declines are gradual and occur over long time periods. Using Cold War spy satellite images (Corona), we show that a...
Preprint
Full-text available
In many data scientific problems, we are interested not only in modeling the behaviour of a system that is passively observed, but also in inferring how the system reacts to changes in the data generating mechanism. Given knowledge of the underlying causal structure, such behaviour can be estimated from purely observational data. To do so, one typi...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction and overexploitation are the main threats to biodiversity and where they co-occur, their combined impact is often larger than their individual one. Yet, detailed knowledge of the spatial footprints of these threats is lacking, including where they overlap and how they change over time. These knowledge gaps are real barriers for...
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
Impacts of cattle production vary among different production systems, but data on their distribution is scarce for most world regions. In this work, we combine datasets on cattle vaccination locations and land cover in a regression framework to define and map major cattle production systems in the Argentinean Dry Chaco. We also explore how cattle o...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the trade‐offs between biodiversity conservation and agricultural production has become a fundamental question in sustainability science. Substantial research has focused on how species’ populations respond to agricultural intensification, with the goal to understand whether conservation policies that spatially separate agriculture an...