Global change ecology

With global change (e.g. climate change, land use changes) plant communities and ecosystems may dramatically change in their composition and functioning. These complex ecological processes are difficult to study and understand because many different factors interact. We use two study systems to gain a multivariate understanding of ecological change processes. In both study systems we compare ecological patterns and processes across multiple case studies distributed worldwide. These two study systems are oceanic islands and elevational gradients in mountains. In my research I combine experimental plant ecology, functional ecology and statistical modelling (e.g. species distribution modelling).

A second research interest is transdisciplinary research on global ecological change. There I collaborate with social scientists, psychologists and philosophers to develop problem-solving strategies that adequately account for scientific uncertainties, valuation issues, and institutional and socioeconomic constraints to implementation.

Recent Publications

  • Think globally, measure locally: The MIREN standardized protocol for monitoring plant species distributions along elevation gradients
    Haider, Sylvia; Lembrechts, Jonas J.; McDougall, Keith; Pauchard, Anibal; Alexander, Jake M.; et al.
    Ecology And Evolution 10.1002/ece3.8590  FEB 2022
  • Horticultural plant use as a so-far neglected pillar of ex situ conservation
    Ismail, Sascha A.; Pouteau, Robin; van Kleunen, Mark; Maurel, Noelie; Kueffer, Christoph
    Conservation Letters 10.1111/conl.12825  SEP 2021
  • Promoting wildflower biodiversity in dense and green cities: The important role of small vegetation patches
    Vega, Kevin A.; Kuffer, Christoph
    Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127165  JUL 2021
  • Discovering the wild side of urban plants through public engagement
    Vega, Kevin A.; Schlaepfer-Miller, Juanita; Kueffer, Christoph
    Plants People Planet10.1002/ppp3.10191  JUL 2021
  • Human impact, climate and dispersal strategies determine plant invasion on islands
    Irl, Severin D. H.; Schweiger, Andreas H.; Steinbauer, Manuel J.; Ah-Peng, Claudine; Arevalo, Jose Ramon; et al.
    Journal Of Biogeography   10.1111/jbi.14119  Early Access: MAY 2021
  • Moving up and over: redistribution of plants in alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic ecosystems under global change
    Rew, Lisa J.; McDougall, Keith L.; Alexander, Jake M.; Daehler, Curtis C.; Essl, Franz; et al.
    Arctic Antarctic And Alpine Research   DOI: 10.1080/15230430.2020.1845919   JAN 1 2020
  • Endemic macrophyte is more plastic than two cosmopolitan species in fluctuating water levels and nutrient-enriched conditions
    Packer, Jasmin G.; Ganf, George; Kueffer, Cristoph; Facelli, Jose M.; Pysek, Petr
    Transactions Of The Royal Society Of South Australia   DOI: 10.1080/03721426.2020.1848981   DEC 2020
  • Time for a biodiversity turn in sustainability science
    Kueffer, Christoph; Di Giulio, Manuela; Hauser, Katrin; Wiedmer, Caroline
    Gaia-ecological Perspectives For Science And Society   DOI: 10.14512/gaia.29.4.14   2020
  • A conceptual map of invasion biology: Integrating hypotheses into a consensus network
    Enders, M; Havemann, F; Ruland, F; Bernard-Verdier, M; Catford, JA; Gomez-Aparicio, L; Haider, S; Heger, T; Kueffer, C; Kuhn, I; Meyerson, LA; Musseau, C; Novoa, A; Ricciardi, A; Sagouis, A; Schittko, C; Strayer, DL; Vila, M; Essl, F; Hulme, PE; van Kleunen, M; Kumschick, S ; Lockwood, JL; Mabey, AL; McGeoch, MA; Palma, E; Pysek, P; Saul, WC; Yannelli, FA; Jeschke, JM
    GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY DOI: 10.1111/geb.13082  MAR 2020
  • Invasion syndromes: a systematic approach for predicting biological invasions and facilitating effective management
    Novoa, Ana; Richardson, David M.; Pysek, Petr; Meyerson, Laura A.; Bacher, Sven; et al.
    Biological Invasions  10.1007/s10530-020-02220-w  MAR 2020
  • Towards an Integrative, Eco-Evolutionary Understanding of Ecological Novelty: Studying and Communicating Interlinked Effects of Global Change
    Heger, T; Bernard-Verdier, M; Gessler, A; Greenwood, AD.; Grossart, HP; Hilker, M; Keinath, S; Kowarik, I; Kueffer, C; Marquard, E; Muller, J; Niemeier, S; Onandia, G; Petermann, JS; Rillig, MC; Rodel, MO; Saul, WC; Schittko, C; Tockner, K; Joshi, J; Jeschke, JM
    Bioscience,  DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biz095
  • Different environmental drivers of alien tree invasion affect different life-stages and operate at different spatial scales
    Vicente, JR; Kueffer, C; Richardson, DM; Vaz, AS; Cabral, JA; Hui, C; Araujo, MB; Kuhn, I; Kull, CA; Verburg, PH; Marchante, E; Honrado, JP
    FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 433 263-275; 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.10.065 FEB 15 2019
  • Addressing sustainability challenges with a broader concept of systems, target, and transformation knowledge
    Kueffer, Christoph; Schneider, Flurina; Wiesmann, Urs
  • Island Biodiversity in the Anthropocene
    Russell, James C.; Kueffer, Christoph
    ANNUAL REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCES, VOL 44   Book Series: Annual Review of Environment and Resources 44   10.1146/annurev-environ-101718-033245   2019
  • Simplification of shade tree diversity reduces nutrient cycling resilience in coffee agroforestry
    Nesper, M; Kueffer, C; Krishnan, S; Kushalappa, CG; Ghazoul, J
    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, 56 (1):119-131; 10.1111/1365-2664.13176 JAN 2019
  • Explaining people's perceptions of invasive alien species: A conceptual framework
    Shackleton, RT; Richardson, DM; Shackleton, CM; Bennett, B; Crowley, SL; Dehnen-Schmutz, K; Estevez, RA; Fischer, A; Kueffer, C; Kull, CA; Marchante, E; Novoa, A; Potgieter, LJ; Vaas, J; Vaz, AS; Larson, BMH
    JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 229 10-26; 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.04.045 JAN 1 2019
  • Running off the road: roadside non-native plants invading mountain vegetation
    McDougall, KL; Lembrechts, J; Rew, LJ; Haider, S; Cavieres, LA; Kueffer, C; Milbau, A; Naylor, BJ; Nunez, MA; Pauchard, A; Seipel, T; Speziale, KL; Wright, GT; Alexander, JM
    BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS 20(12): 3461-3473, DOI: 10.1007/s10530-018-1787-z, DEC 2018
  • Colonization and diversification shape species-area relationships in three Macaronesian archipelagos
    Price, JP; Otto, R; de Sequeira, MM; Kueffer, C; Schaefer, H; Caujape-Castells, J; Fernandez-Palacios, JM
    JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY, 45 (9):2027-2039; 10.1111/jbi.13396 SEP 2018
Christoph Kueffer

Prof. Dr. Christoph Küffer
ETH Zurich
Institute of Integrative Biology
8092 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 632 43 08

Research topics

  • Functional ecology of invasive plants
  • Functional ecology of oceanic island plants
  • Plant conservation on oceanic islands
  • Plant invasions on oceanic islands
  • Plant invasions in mountains  
  • Transdisciplinary research on ecological change with climate change