Consequences of environmental change on plant communities and plant-soil interactions

Global Change and Soil Ecology

The research conducted in my group focuses on the consequences of environmental change for plant communities and the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and water in ecosystems. A special emphasis is on plant-soil interactions in both agronomic and natural ecosystems, and how these affect soil structure and the ecosystem's greenhouse gas balance (CO2, CH4, N2O). Methodologically, these questions are tackled using a wide range of analytical tools, including isotope labelling, gas exchange techniques, and the genetic analysis of soil microbial communities.


Recent Publications

  • Precipitation patterns and N availability alter plant-soil microbial C and N dynamics
    Engelhardt, Ilonka C.; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Bizouard, Florian; Breuil, Marie-Christine; Rouard, Nadine; et al.
    Plant And Soil 10.1007/s11104-021-05015-7  SEP 2021
  • Soil Fungi Promote Biodiversity-Productivity Relationships in Experimental Communities of Young Trees
    Yang, Bo; Liang, Yu; Schmid, Bernhard; Baruffol, Martin; Li, Yangfan; He, Ling; Salmon, Yann; Tian, Qiuyang; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Ma, Keping
    Ecosystems 10.1007/s10021-021-00689-7  AUG 2021
  • Remotely sensed between-individual functional trait variation in a temperate forest
    Guillen-Escriba, Carla; Schneider, Fabian D.; Schmid, Bernhard; Tedder, Andrew; Morsdorf, Felix; Furrer, Reinhard; Hueni, Andreas; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Schaepman, Michael E
    Ecology And Evolution 10.1002/ece3.7758  AUG 2021
  • Ecological and evolutionary approaches to improving crop variety mixtures
    Wuest, Samuel E.; Peter, Roland; Niklaus, Pascal A.
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 10.1038/s41559-021-01497-x  AUG 2021
  • Effects of plant community history, soil legacy and plant diversity on soil microbial communities
    Schmid, Marc W.; van Moorsel, Sofia J.; Hahl, Terhi; De Luca, Enrica; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.; Wagg, Cameron; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Schmid, Bernhard
    Journal Of Ecology 10.1111/1365-2745.13714  AUG 2021
  • How does leaf functional diversity affect the light environment in forest canopies? An in-silico biodiversity experiment
    Plekhanova, Elena; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Gastellu-Etchegorry, Jean-Philippe; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela
    Ecological Modelling,   DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2020.109394 JAN 15 2021

Publications 2020

  • Plant traits alone are poor predictors of ecosystem properties and long-term ecosystem functioning
    van der Plas, Fons; Schroeder-Georgi, Thomas; Weigelt, Alexandra; Barry, Kathryn; Meyer, Sebastian; et al.
    Nature Ecology & Evolution  DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-01316-9  DEC 2020
  • Plant trait response of tundra shrubs to permafrost thaw and nutrient addition
    Iturrate-Garcia, Maitane; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Schweingruber, Fritz H.; Niklaus, Pascal A.; et al.
    Biogeosciences  DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-4981-2020 OCT 18 2020
  • Temperatures beyond the community optimum promote the dominance of heat-adapted, fast growing and stress resistant bacteria in alpine soils
    Donhauser, Johanna; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Rousk, Johannes; Larose, Catherine; Frey, Beat
    Soil Biology & Biochemistry 10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.107873 SEP 2020
  • Impact of reactive surfaces on the abiotic reaction between nitrite and ferrous iron and associated nitrogen and oxygen isotope dynamics
    Visser, Anna-Neva; Wankel, Scott D.; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Byrne, James M.; Kappler, Andreas A.; et al.
    Biogeosciences  DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-4355-2020 AUG 28 2020
  • Late-spring frost risk between 1959 and 2017 decreased in North America but increased in Europe and Asia
    Zohner, Constantin M.; Mo, Lidong; Renner, Susanne S.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Vitasse, Yann; et al.
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America,  117(22): 12192-12200 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1920816117  JUN 2 2020
  • Local and landscape-level diversity effects on forest functioning
    Oehri, Jacqueline; Buergin, Marvin; Schmid, Bernhard; Niklaus, Pascal A.
    Plos One,  Published: MAY 14 2020 , DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233104
  • Directed species loss reduces community productivity in a subtropical forest biodiversity experiment
    Chen, Yuxin; Huang, Yuanyuan; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Castro-Izaguirre, Nadia; Clark, Adam Thomas; Bruelheide, Helge; Ma, Keping; Schmid, Bernhard
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 10.1038/s41559-020-1127-4  2020
  • Terrestrial land-cover type richness is positively linked to landscape-level functioning
    Oehri, Jacqueline; Schmid, Bernhard; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Niklaus, Pascal A.
    Nature Communications 11(1), Article Number: 154, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-14002-7, JAN 9 2020
  • Tree-species interactions increase light absorption and growth in Chinese subtropical mixed-species plantations
    Forrester, David I.; Rodenfels, Peter; Haase, Josephine; Haerdtle, Werner; Leppert, Katrin N.; et al.
    Oecologia,  DOI: 10.1007/s00442-019-04495-w, OCT 2019
Pascal Niklaus UZH

Prof. Dr. Pascal Niklaus
University of Zurich
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
8057 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 635 34 13

Research topics

  • Carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Mechanisms controlling soil greenhouse gas efflux incl. CH4 and N2O
  • Effects of plant biodiversity on the structure and functioning of ecosystems