effects of climate change on different facets of biodiversity at different spatial
scales, including effects species range shifts or extinction risk. For example,
we showed that species of different trophic levels responded differently due to
climate warming and that high montane species are particularly at risk of
becoming extinct. In other studies, we focused on the relative importance of
macroclimate versus local factors. These studies allow inferences about the
relevant spatial scale that matter for diversity and hence can guide
conservation efforts in times of climate change.
Box plots of shifts in the upper ranges of single species of the lineages under study between 1902–1904 and 2006–2007 along an altitude gradient in the Bavarian Forest National Park. The mean shift of each lineage is indicated by a blue line.
We learned that the relative
importance of macroclimate versus local factors differs between taxonomic
groups challenging overall conservation concepts. To improve our mechanistic
understanding of the species-environmental relationships, we also consider
phylogenetic and trait information among species.
Bässler, C., Müller, J., Hothorn, T., Kneib, T., Badeck, F. & Dziock, F. (2010). Estimation of the extinction risk for high-montane species as a consequence of global warming and assessment of their suitability as cross-taxon indicators. Ecological Indicators, 10, 341–352.
Bässler, C., Hothorn, T., Brandl, R. & Müller, J. (2013). Insects overshoot the expected upslope shift caused by climate warming. PLOS ONE, 8, e65842-e65842.
Oberprieler C, Heine G, Bässler C (2015) Can divergent selection save the rare Senecio hercynicus from genetic swamping by its spreading congener S. ovatus (Compositae, Senecioneae)? Flora 210:47–59
Bässler, C., Cadotte, M.W., Beudert, B., Heibl, C., Blaschke, M. & Bradtka, J.H. Langbehn T, Werth S, Müller J. (2016). Contrasting patterns of lichen functional diversity and species richness across an elevation gradient. Ecography, 39, 689–698.
Thorn, S., Forster, B., Heibl, C., Muller, J. & Bässler, C. (2018). Influence of macroclimate and local conservation measures on taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversities of saproxylic beetles and wood-inhabiting fungi. Biodiversity Conservation, 27, 3119–3135
research focus is directed to the effects of forest management on the diversity
of forest species. Study settings include protected areas like National parks
and commercial forests. Here, for example, we concentrate on the role of
passive management, characterized by natural disturbances and the response of rare
species and functional communities.
Phylogenetic tree of lichenous species iin the Bavarian Forest National Park Bars illustrate the shift in abundance for each species in relation to the categories undisturbed (left) and disturbed (bark beetle attack; right). Black bars indicate that the species occurred exclusively on the respective plot. Inset histogram shows the number of species with either a positive, negative or indifferent response in abundance to disturbance.
also study logging effects on the diversity and assembly processes of forest species
communities. We use a broad range of survey data, including forests
characterized by regular logging and salvage logging after disturbances. Besides
gathering a deeper understanding of the response of diversity to forest
management, our studies intend to improve recommendations for forest managers
to maintain overall forest diversity.
Bässler, C., Ernst, R., Cadotte, M., Heibl, C. & Müller, J. (2014). Near-to-nature logging influences fungal community assembly processes in a temperate forest. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51, 939–948.
Bässler, C., Müller, J., Cadotte, M.W., Heibl, C., Bradtka, J.H. & Thorn, S. Halbwachs H. (2016). Functional response of lignicolous fungal guilds to bark beetle deforestation. Ecological Indicators, 65, 149–160.
Thorn S, Bässler C, Bernhardt-Römermann M, Cadotte M, Heibl C, Schaefer H, Seibold S, Müller J (2016) Changes in the dominant assembly mechanism drive species loss caused by declining resources. Ecology Letters: 19:163–170.
Biedermann PHW, Müller J, Grégoire J-C, Gruppe, Axel, Hagge J, Hammerbacher A, Hofstetter RW, Kandasamy D, Kolarik M, Kostovcik M, Krokene P, Sallé A, Six DL, Turrini T, Vanderpool D, Wingfield MJ, Bässler C (2019) Bark Beetle Population Dynamics in the Anthropocene: Challenges and Solutions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 34:914–924
Thorn S, Chao A, Bernhardt‐Römermann M, Chen Y‐H, Georgiev KB, Heibl C, Müller J, Schäfer H, Bässler C (2020) Rare species, functional groups, and evolutionary lineages drive successional trajectories in disturbed forests. Ecology 101. doi:10.1002/ecy.2949
We set up
several experiments in forest ecosystems to disentangle the effects of resource
availability, resource diversity, and abiotic factors like microclimate driving
the structure and succession of species communities related to deadwood. These
experiments provide deeper insights in the mechanisms driving communities. They
also help specifying forest conservation concepts in times of climate change.
Finally, we are interested in how diversity patterns are linked to important
ecosystem processes like decomposition, a crucial process contributing to the
forest nutrient cycle.
Wood-inhabiting beetles carry fungal material of different fungal guilds, thus dispersing propagules (mostly spores). X-axis: Number of OTUs
Baber K, Otto O, Kahl T, Gossner MM, Wirth C, Gminder A, Bässler C (2016) Disentangling the effects of forest-stand type and dead-wood origin of the early successional stage on the diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi. Forest Ecology and Management 377:161–169
Krah F-S, Seibold S, Brandl R, Baldrian P, Müller J, Bässler C (2018) Independent effects of host and environment on the diversity of wood-inhabiting fungi. Journal of Ecology 106:1428–1442
Seibold S, Müller J, Baldrian P, Cadotte MW, Štursová M, Biedermann PHW, Krah F-S, Bässler C (2019) Fungi associated with beetles dispersing from dead wood – Let's take the beetle bus! Fungal Ecology 39:100–108.
still the forgotten kingdom in conservation biology. One focus of our group,
therefore, is to improve our understanding how fungal communities are
structured along environmental gradients (e.g., land use and climate).
Phylogenetic and trait information among species increase our understanding of
the underlying processes that allow predictions on how fungal diversity changes
in times of land use and climate change.
For example, in a recent study, we learned that the fruit body size affects the global assembly of mushroom-forming fungi. Mean mushroom size across latitudes peaks at temperate biomes.
We also use phylogenetically informed analyses to improve our knowledge about the evolution of assembly relevant traits.
Bässler C, Heilmann-Clausen J, Karasch P, Brandl R, Halbwachs H (2015) Ectomycorrhizal fungi have larger fruit bodies than saprotrophic fungi. Fungal Ecology 17:205–212
Halbwachs H., Simmel J., Bässler C. 2016. Tales and mysteries of fungal fruiting: How morphological and physiological traits affect a pileate lifestyle. Fungal Biology Reviews 30(2): 36–61.
Krah F-S, Büntgen U, Schaefer H, Müller J, Andrew C, Boddy L, Diez J, Egli S, Freckleton R, Gange AC, Halvorsen R, Heegaard E, Heideroth A, Heibl C, Heilmann-Clausen J, Høiland K, Kar R, Kauserud H, Kirk PM, Kuyper TW, Krisai-Greilhuber I, Norden J, Papastefanou P, Senn-Irlet B, Bässler C (2019) European mushroom assemblages are darker in cold climates. Nature Communications 10:2890.
Bässler C, Brandl R, Müller J, Krah F, Reinelt A, Halbwachs H. (2021). Global analysis reveals an environmentally driven latitudinal pattern in mushroom size across fungal species. Ecology Letters accepted.
challenge of conservation biology is the need to assess biodiversity rapidly at
a larger scale. In some studies, we showed that remote sensing techniques predict
fairly well different biodiversity measures. Measures used included, e.g., NATURA
2000 habitat types and the occurrence of forest fungi based on their fruit
Map illustrating modelled abundances (number of fruiting bodies/ha/year) of all fungal species in the Bavarian Forest National Park,
Peura M, Gonzalez RS, Müller J, Heurich M, Vierling LA, Mönkkonen M, Bässler C (2016) Mapping a 'cryptic kingdom'. Performance of lidar derived environmental variables in modelling the occurrence of forest fungi. Remote Sensing of Environment 186:428–438
Bässler C, Stadler J, Müller J, Förster B, Göttlein A, Brandl R (2011) LiDAR as a rapid tool to predict forest habitat types in Natura 2000 networks. Biodiversity and Conservation 20:465–481.
Bae S, Levick SR, Heidrich L, Magdon P, Leutner BF, Wöllauer S, Serebryanyk A, Nauss T, Krzystek P, Gossner MM, Schall P, Heibl C, Bässler C, Doerfler I, Schulze E-D, Krah F-S, Culmsee H, Jung K, Heurich M, Fischer M, Seibold S, Thorn S, Gerlach T, Hothorn T, Weisser WW, Müller J (2019) Radar vision in the mapping of forest biodiversity from space. Nature Communications 10:4757.