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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS): a proposal for the long-term coordinated survey and monitoring of native island forest biota
    Borges, PAV; Cardoso, P; Kreft, H; Whittaker, RJ; Fattorini, S; Emerson, BC; Gil, A; Gillespie, RG; Matthews, TJ; Santos, AMC; Steinbauer, MJ; Thebaud, C; Ah-Peng, C; Amorim, IR; Aranda, SC; Arroz, AM; Azevedo, JMN; Boieiro, M; Borda-de-Agua, L; Carvalho, JC; Elias, RB; Fernandez-Palacios, JM; Florencio, M; Gonzalez-Mancebo, JM; Heaney, LR; Hortal, J; Kueffer, C; Lequette, B; Martin-Esquivel, JL; Lopez, H; Lamelas-Lopez, L; Marcelino, J; Nunes, R; Oromi, P; Patino, J; Perez, AJ; Rego, C; Ribeiro, SP; Rigal, F; Rodrigues, P; Rominger, AJ; Santos-Reis, M; Schaefer, H; Sergio, C; Serrano, ARM; Sim-Sim, M; Stephenson, PJ; Soares, AO; Strasberg, D; Vanderporten, A; Vieira, V; Gabriel, R
    BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION, 27 (10):2567-2586; 10.1007/s10531-018-1553-7 AUG 2018
  • Mountain roads and non-native species modify elevational patterns of plant diversity
    Haider, S; Kueffer, C; Bruelheide, H; Seipel, T; Alexander, JM; Rew, LJ; Arevalo, JR; Cavieres, LA; McDougall, KL; Milbau, A; Naylor, BJ;
    Speziale, K; Pauchard, A
    GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY, 27 (6):667-678; 10.1111/geb.12727 JUN 2018
  • Using the "regime shift" concept in addressing social-ecological change 
    Author(s): Kull, Christian A.; Kueffer, Christoph; Richardson, David M.; et al. 
    Source: GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH, 56 (1): 26-41 FEB 2018 
    Document Type: Article (Details)
  • Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change
    Jake M. Alexander, Loïc Chalmandrier, Jonathan Lenoir, Treena I. Burgess, Franz Essl, Sylvia Haider, Christoph Kueffer, Keith McDougall, Ann Milbau, Martin A. Nuñez, Aníbal Pauchard, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Lisa J. Rew, Nathan J. Sanders, Loïc Pellissier
    Global Change Biology FEB 2018
  • Socio-economic impact classification of alien taxa (SEICAT) 
    Bacher, Sven; Blackburn, Tim M.; Essl, Franz; et al. 
    METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9 (1): 159-168 JAN 2018 Article (Details)
  • Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply chains to prevent plant invasions 
    Hulme, Philip E.; Brundu, Giuseppe; Carboni, Marta; et al. 
    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, 55 (1): 92-98 JAN 2018 Article (Details)
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