Plant Ecology

The research group Ecology at the University of Basel combines field observations and experiments, remote sensing, and historical as well as online data sources with modelling techniques to infer impacts of environmental change on plant species distributions, diversity and performance.
Our preferred study system are alpine and arctic regions, because these relatively pristine areas allow for studying impacts of environmental change without too much direct confounding effects of human action. Furthermore, alpine and arctic regions are warming even faster than other areas on Earth, harbour disproportionately high biodiversity, and provide fundamental ecosystem services.
Understanding past and predicting future changes of these ecosystem is therefore highly important to conserve global biodiversity, reach global sustainability commitments, and ensure ecosystem integrity with immediate relevance to humankind.


  • Diversity & distributions
  • Global change biology
  • Biogeography
  • Vegetation ecology
  • Spatial ecology


  • From white to green: Snow cover loss and increased vegetation productivity in the European Alps
    Rumpf, SB; Gravey, M; (...); Guisan, A
    Jun 3 2022 | SCIENCE 376 (6597) , pp.1119-+ 10.1126/science.abn6697
  • Intraspecific trait variation in alpine plants relates to their elevational distribution
    Rixen, C; Wipf, S; (...); Deslippe, JR
    Apr 2022 | Feb 2022 (Early Access) | JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 110 (4) , pp.860-875 10.1111/1365-2745.13848
  • Think globally, measure locally: The MIREN standardized protocol for monitoring plant species distributions along elevation gradients
    Haider, S; Lembrechts, JJ; (...); Seipel, T
    Feb 2022 | ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 12 (2) 10.1002/ece3.8590
  • Snapshot isolation and isolation history challenge the analogy between mountains and islands used to understand endemism
    Flantua, SGA; Payne, D; (...); Field, R
    Oct 2020 | Aug 2020 (Early Access) | GLOBAL ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY 29 (10) , pp.1651-1673 10.1111/geb.13155
  • TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access
    Kattge, J; Bonisch, G; (...); Wirth, C
    Jan 2020 | Dec 2019 (Early Access) | GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY 26 (1) , pp.119-188 10.1111/gcb.14904
  • Disentangling observer error and climate change effects in long-term monitoring of alpine plant species composition and cover
    Futschik, A; Winkler, M; (...); Pauli, H
    Jan 2020 | Nov 2019 (Early Access) | JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE 31 (1) , pp.14-25 10.1111/jvs.12822
  • Twelve-year dynamics of alien and native understorey plants following variable retention harvesting in Nothofagus pumilio forests in Southern Patagonia
    Soler, R; Rumpf, SB; (...); Lencinas, MV
    Oct 1 2019 | FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 449 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.07.001
  • Extinction debts and colonization credits of non-forest plants in the European Alps
    Rumpf, SB; Hulber, K; (...); Dullinger, S
    Sep 20 2019 | NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 10 10.1038/s41467-019-12343-x
Sabine Rumpf Univ Basel

Prof. Dr. Sabine Rumpf
University of Basel
Dept of Environmental Sciences – Ecology
4056 Basel

Phone: +41 (0)61 207 36 02

  • GLORIA (Global Research Initiative in Alpine environments)
  • Biotic interactions
  • Remote sensing
  • Geography
  • Modelling
  • Historical data