Tropical plant biodiversity and biogeography

Plant species and assemblages show distinct geographical distribution patterns. In my research I attempt to discern the biotic and abiotic factors as well as evolutionary processes determining these patterns, especially in the tropics. Specific research topics include:

  • Fern flora of Bolivia (with A.R. Smith, Berkeley, CA, USA).
  • Systematics and biogeography of Andean Acanthaceae, Araceae, Bromeliaceae, Cactaceae, and Palmae.
  • Ecology and biogeography of ferns in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Bolivia, Africa and the Mascarene Islands, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
  • Causes determining the lower elevational limits of plants in mountains.
  • Causes determining the upper timberline. 
  • Tropical deciduous forest ecology.
  • GIS modelling of the relationship of plant distributions and climate.
  • Influence of plant species richness on ecosystem function and stability.

 

Recent Publications

  • Using dendrochronology to trace the impact of the hemiparasite Tristerix chodatianus on Andean Polylepis trees
    Camel, V; Arizapana-Almonacid, M; Pyles, M; Galeano, E; Quispe-Melgar, HR; Ninanya-Parra, Z; Ames-Martinez, FN; Requena-Rojas, E; Kessler, M
    PLANT ECOLOGY, 220 (9):873-886; 10.1007/s11258-019-00961-w SEP 2019
  • Targeted Capture of Hundreds of Nuclear Genes Unravels Phylogenetic Relationships of the Diverse Neotropical Palm Tribe Geonomateae
    Loiseau, O; Oliyares, I; Paris, M; de La Harpe, M; Weigand, A; Koubinova, D; Rolland, J; Bacon, CD; Balslev, H; Borchsenius, F; Cano, A; Couvreur, TLP; Delnatte, C; Fardin, F; Gayot, M; Mejia, F; Mota-Machado, T; Ferret, M; Roncal, J; Sanin, MJ; Stauffer, F; Lexer, C; Kessler, M; Salamin, N
    FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 10 10.3389/fpls.2019.00864 JUL 12 2019
  • Latitude-independent, continent-wide consistency in climate-richness relationships in Asian ferns and lycophytes
    Khine, PK; Kluge, J; Kessler, M; Miehe, G; Karger, DN
    JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 46 (5):981-991; 10.1111/jbi.13558 MAY 2019
  • Taxonomic Reevaluation of the Polylepis sericea Complex (Rosaceae), with the Description of a New Species
    Espinoza, TEB; Quispe-Melgar, HR; Kessler, M
    SYSTEMATIC BOTANY, 44 (2):324-334; 10.1600/036364419X15562052252225 MAY 2019
  • sPlot - A new tool for global vegetation analyses
    Bruelheide, H; Dengler, J; Jimenez-Alfaro, B; et al.
    JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE, 30 (2):161-186; 10.1111/jvs.12710 MAR 2019
  • Pollen analogues are transported across greater distances in bee-pollinated than in hummingbird-pollinated species of Justicia (Acanthaceae)
    Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N.; Mueller, Matthias; Pozo Inofuentes, Paola; Viso, Francisco Encinas; Kessler, Michael
    BIOTROPICA, 51 (2):99-103; 10.1111/btp.12633 MAR 2019
  • Prodromus of a fern flora for Bolivia. XLI. Errata
    Kessler, Michael; Smith, Alan R.; Schwartsburd, Pedro B.; Moran, Robbin C.; Matos, Fernando B.
    PHYTOTAXA, 394 (2):171-175; 10.11646/phytotaxa.394.2.5 FEB 26 2019
  • Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities
    Bruelheide, H; Dengler, J; Purschke, O; Lenoir, J; Jimenez-Alfaro, B; Hennekens, SM; Botta-Dukat, Z; Chytry, M; Field, R; Jansen, F; Kattge, J; Pillar, VD; Schrodt, F; Mahecha, MD; Peet, RK; Sandel, B; van Bodegom, P; Altman, J; Alvarez-Davila, E; Khan, MASA; Attorre, F; Aubin, I; Baraloto, C; Barroso, JG; Bauters, M; Bergmeier, E; Biurrun, I; Bjorkman, AD; Blonder, B; Carni, A; Cayuela, L; Cerny, T; Cornelissen, JHC; Craven, D; Dainese, M; Derroire, G; De Sanctis, M; Diaz, S; Dolezal, J; Farfan-Rios, W; Feldpausch, TR; Fenton, NJ; Garnier, E; Guerin, GR; Gutierrez, AG; Haider, S; Hattab, T; Henry, G; Herault, B; Higuchi, P; Holzel, N; Homeier, J; Jentsch, A; Jurgens, N; Kacki, Z; Karger, DN; Kessler, M; Kleyer, M; Knollova, I; Korolyuk, AY; Kuhn, I; Laughlin, DC; Lens, F; Loos, J; Louault, F; Lyubenova, MI; Malhi, Y; Marceno, C; Mencuccini, M; Muller, JV; Munzinger, J; Myers-Smith, IH; Neill, DA; Niinemets, U; Orwin, KH; Ozinga, WA; Penuelas, J; Perez-Haase, A; Petrik, P; Phillips, OL; Partel, M; Reich, PB; Romermann, C; Rodrigues, AV; Sabatini, FM; Sardans, J; Schmidt, M; Seidler, G; Espejo, JES; Silveira, M; Smyth, A; Sporbert, M; Svenning, JC; Tang, ZY; Thomas, R; Tsiripidis, I; Vassilev, K; Violle, C; Virtanen, R; Weiher, E; Welk, E; Wesche, K; Winter, M; Wirth, C; Jandt, U
    NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 2 (12):1906-1917; 10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8 DEC 2018
  • Taxonomic and Biogeographic Reappraisal of the Genus Dicksonia (Dicksoniaceae) in the Neotropics
    Noben, Sarah; Kessler, Michael; Weigand, Anna; Tejedor, Adrian; Duque, Wilson D. Rodriguez; Giraldo Gallego, Luis Fernando; Lehnert, Marcus
    SYSTEMATIC BOTANY, 43 (4):839-857; 10.1600/036364418X697634 OCT-DEC 2018
  • Pan-tropical prediction of forest structure from the largest trees
    Bastin, JF; Rutishauser, E; Kellner, JR; Saatchi, S; Pelissier, R; Herault, B; Slik, F; Bogaert, J; De Canniere, C; Marshall, AR; Poulsen, J; Alvarez-Loyayza, P; Andrade, A; Angbonga-Basia, A; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arroyo, L; Ayyappan, N; de Azevedo, CP; Banki, O; Barbier, N; Barroso, JG; Beeckman, H; Bitariho, R; Boeckx, P; Boehning-Gaese, K; Brandao, H; Brearley, FQ; Hockemba, MBN; Brienen, R; Camargo, JLC; Campos-Arceiz, A; Cassart, B; Chave, J; Chazdon, R; Chuyong, G; Clark, DB; Clark, CJ; Condit, R; Coronado, ENH; Davidar, P; de Haulleville, T; Descroix, L; Doucet, JL; Dourdain, A; Droissart, V; Duncan, T; Espejo, JS; Espinosa, S; Farwig, N; Fayolle, A; Feldpausch, TR; Ferraz, A; Fletcher, C; Gajapersad, K; Gillet, JF; do Amaral, IL; Gonmadje, C; Grogan, J; Harris, D; Herzog, SK; Homeier, J; Hubau, W; Hubbell, SP; Hufkens, K; Hurtado, J; Kamdem, NG; Kearsley, E; Kenfack, D; Kessler, M; Labriere, N; Laumonier, Y; Laurance, S; Laurance, WF; Lewis, SL;
    Libalah, MB; Ligot, G; Lloyd, J; Lovejoy, TE; Malhi, Y; Marimon, BS; Marimon, B; Martin, EH; Matius, P; Meyer, V; Bautista, CM; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A; Mtui, A; Neill, D; Gutierrez, GAP; Pardo, G;
    Parren, M; Parthasarathy, N; Phillips, OL; Pitman, NCA; Ploton, P; Ponette, Q; Ramesh, BR; Razafimahaimodison, JC; Rejou-Mechain, M; Rolim, SG; Saltos, HR; Rossi, LMB; Spironello, WR; Rovero, F; Saner, P; Sasaki, D; Schulze, M; Silveira, M; Singh, J; Sist, P; Sonke, B; Soto, JD; de Souza, CR; Stropp, J; Sullivan, MJP; Swanepoel, B; ter Steege, H; Terborgh, J; Texier, N; Toma, T; Valencia, R; Valenzuela, L; Ferreira, LV; Valverde, FC; Van Andel, TR; Vasque, R; Verbeeck, H; Vivek, P; Vleminckx, J; Vos, VA; Wagner, FH; Puspa, WP; Wortel, V; Zagt, RJ; Zebaze, D
    GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, 27 (11):1366-1383; 10.1111/geb.12803 NOV 2018
  • Influence of elevation and habitat disturbance on the functional diversity of ferns and lycophytes
    Carvajal-Hernandez, CI; Gomez-Diaz, JA; Kessler, M; Kromer, T
    PLANT ECOLOGY & DIVERSITY, 11 (3):335-347; 10.1080/17550874.2018.1484526 2018
  • Assessing species saturation: conceptual and methodological challenges
    Olivares, I; Karger, DN; Kessler, M
    BIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, 93 (4):1874-1890; 10.1111/brv.12424 NOV 2018
  • Richness Patterns of Ferns Along an Elevational Gradient in the Sierra de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico: a Comparison with Central and South America
    Hernandez-Rojas, A; Kessler, M; Kromer, T; Carvajal-Hernandez, C; Weigand, A; Kluge, J
    AMERICAN FERN JOURNAL, 108 (3):76-94; 10.1640/0002-8444-108.3.76 JUL 2018
  • Ascogrammitis lehnertii (Polypodiaceae): A New and Dominant Understory-Species from a Diverse Community of Grammitid Ferns in the Andes of Ecuador
    Sundue, M; Olivares, I; Kessler, M
    SYSTEMATIC BOTANY, 43 (3):709-716; 10.1600/036364418X697427 JUL-SEP 2018
  • Prodromus of a fern flora for Bolivia. XXXV. Dryopteridaceae
    Kessler, M; Moran, RC; Mickel, JT; Matos, FB; Smith, AR
    PHYTOTAXA, 353 (1):1-114; 10.11646/phytotaxa.353.1.1 JUN 11 2018
  • Prodromus of a fern flora for Bolivia. XL. Polypodiaceae
    Smith, AR; Kessler, M; Leon, B; Almeida, TE; Jimenez-Perez, I; Lehnert, M
    PHYTOTAXA, 354 (1):1-67; 10.11646/phytotaxa.354.1.1 JUN 11 2018
  • A new scaly tree fern (Cyathea: Cyatheaceae) from Colombia
    Tejedor, A; Calatayud, G; Lehnert, M; Duque, WDR; Kessler, M
    BRITTONIA, 70 (2):166-172; https://doi.org/10.1007/s12228-017-9510-4 JUN 2018
  • Phylogenetic systematics, morphological evolution, and natural groups in neotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae)
    Testo, Weston; Ollgaard, Benjamin; Field, Ashley; Almeida, Thais; Kessler, Michael; Barrington, David
    MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION, 125 1-13; 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.03.016 AUG 2018
Kessler Michael

Dr. Michael Kessler
University of Zurich
Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany and Botanical Garden
8008 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 634 84 32

Research topics

  • Plant taxonomy
  • Community ecology
  • Plant autecology
  • Macroecology
  • Conservation ecology
  • Tropical ecology

 

Interdisciplinary

  • Plant-animal interactions
  • Pollination biology
  • Species distribution modelling
  • Biodiversity functionality
  • Evolutionary ecology