Ecosystem and vegetation responses to climatic change, disturbance and land use

Paleoecology and Vegetation Dynamics

We use a long-term perspective to address questions about the ecological and societal consequences of climatic change. Our group studies environmental dynamics on annual to millennial time scales with evidence preserved in sedimentary sequences (e.g., pollen, macrofossils, charcoal, diatoms, and chironomids) and model simulations. Research projects are investigating the long-term responses of vegetation to climatic changes; causes and consequences of fire-regime changes; land-use changes in a climatic context; and assessing the natural qualities of vegetation for nature conservation and environmental management.


Recent Publications

  • Early human impact in a 15,000-year high-resolution hyperspectral imaging record of paleoproduction and anoxia from a varved lake in Switzerland
    Makri, Stamatina; Rey, Fabian; Gobet, Erika; Gilli, Adrian; Tinner, Willy; et al.
    Quaternary Science Reviews  DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106335 Published: JUL 1 2020
  • A critical assessment of human-impact indices based on anthropogenic pollen indicators
    Deza-Araujo, Mara; Morales-Molino, Cesar; Tinner, Willy; Henne, Paul D.; Heitz, Caroline; et al.
    Quaternary Science Reviews  DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106291 Published: MAY 15 2020
  • The past distribution of Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei: results of a multidisciplinary study
    Pasta, Salvatore; Sala, Giovanna; La Mantia, Tommaso; Bondi, Cristina; Tinner, Willy
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany 29(3): 357-371 DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00747-0  MAY 2020
  • Vegetation and disturbance history of the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany
    van der Knaap, Willem O.; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; Fahse, Lorenz; Szidat, Soenke; Studer, Tanja; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany  DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00742-5    2020
  • 20,000 years of interactions between climate, vegetation and land use in Northern Greece
    Gassner, Sylvia; Gobet, Erika; Schwoerer, Christoph; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; Vogel, Hendrik; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany 29(1): 75-90 DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00734-5 JAN 2020
  • How many, how far? Quantitative models of Neolithic land use for six wetland sites on the northern Alpine forelands between 4300 and 3700 bc
    Baum, Tilman; Mainberger, Martin; Taylor, Timothy; Tinner, Willy; Hafner, Albert; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany,  DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00768-9, Early Access: JAN 2020
  • New insights on stomata analysis of European conifers 65 years after the pioneering study of Werner Trautmann (1953)
    Finsinger, Walter; Tinner, Willy
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany,  DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00754-1, Early Access: OCT 2019
  • Seasonal shifts and complementary use of pollen sources by two bees, a lacewing and a ladybeetle species in European agricultural landscapes
    Bertrand, C; Eckerter, PW; Ammann, L; Entling, MH; Gobet, E; Herzog, F; Mestre, L; Tinner, W; Albrecht, M
    JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, 10.1111/1365-2664.13483  2019
  • Unprecedented herbivory threatens rear-edge populations of Betula in southwestern Eurasia
    Morales-Molino, C; Tinner, W; Perea, R; Carrion, JS; Colombaroll, D; Valbuena-Carabana, M; Zafra, E; Gil, L
    ECOLOGY, 10.1002/ecy.2833 
  • What is the potential of silver fir to thrive under warmer and drier climate?
    Vitasse, Y; Bottero, A; Rebetez, M; Conedera, M; Augustin, S; Brang, P; Tinner, W
    EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH, 138 (4):547-560; 10.1007/s10342-019-01192-4 AUG 2019 
  • Palynological insights into global change impacts on Arctic vegetation, fire, and pollution recorded in Central Greenland ice
    Brugger, SO; Gobet, E; Blunier, T; Morales-Molino, C; Lotter, AF; Fischer, H; Schwikowski, M; Tinner, W
    HOLOCENE, 29 (7):1189-1197; 10.1177/0959683619838039 JUL 2019
  • Pollen from beeswax as a geographical origin indicator of the medieval Evangelistary cover 'Pace di Chiavenna', Northern Italy
    Martinelli, E; Castelletti, L; Oberli, F; Maggioni, C; Tinner, W
    PALYNOLOGY, 43 (3):507-516; 10.1080/01916122.2018.1498399 JUL 3 2019
  • Causes and mechanisms of synchronous succession trajectories in primeval Central European mixed Fagus sylvatica forests
    Rey, F; Gobet, E; Schworer, C; Wey, O; Hafner, A; Tinner, W
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 107 (3):1392-1408; 10.1111/1365-2745.13121 MAY 2019
  • Fire on ice and frozen trees? Inappropriate radiocarbon dating leads to unrealistic reconstructions
    Finsinger, W; Schworer, C; Heiri, O; Morales-Molino, C; Ribolini, A; Giesecke, T; Haas, JN; Kaltenrieder, P; Magyari, EK; Ravazzi, C; Rubiales, JM; Tinner, W
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 222 (2):657-662; 10.1111/nph.15354 APR 2019
  • Responses of vegetation and testate amoeba trait composition to fire disturbances in and around a bog in central European lowlands (northern Poland)
    Marcisz, K; Lamentowicz, M; Galka, M; Colombaroli, D; Adolf, C; Tinner, W
    QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 208 129-139; 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.02.003 MAR 15 2019
  • Ice cave reveals environmental forcing of long-term Pyrenean tree line dynamics
    Leunda, Maria; Gonzalez-Samperiz, Penelope; Gil-Romera, Graciela; Bartolome, Miguel; Belmonte-Ribas, Anchel; Gomez-Garcia, Daniel;
    Kaltenrieder, Petra; Manuel Rubiales, Juan; Schworer, Christoph; Tinner, Willy; Morales-Molino, Cesar; Sancho, Carlos
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 107 (2):814-828; 10.1111/1365-2745.13077 MAR 2019
  • Revising the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) refugia history of the last glacial period with extended pollen and macrofossil evidence
    Krebs, Patrik; Pezzatti, Gianni Boris; Beffa, Giorgia; Tinner, Willy; Conedera, Marco
    QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 206 111-128; 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.01.002 FEB 15 2019
  • Radiocarbon wiggle matching on laminated sediments delivers high-precision chronologies
    Rey, F; Gobet, E; Szidat, S; Lotter, AF; Gilli, A; Hafner, A; Tinner, W
    RADIOCARBON, 61 (1):265-285; 10.1017/RDC.2018.47 FEB 2019
Willy Tinner Uni Bern

Prof. Dr. Willy Tinner
University of Bern
Institute of Plant Sciences &
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
3013 Bern

Tel: +41 (0)31 631 49 32

Research topics

  • Mediterranean Ecosystems
  • Forest potentials 
  • Island ecology 
  • Fire effects on tropical African ecosystems 
  • Alaskan Ecosystems
  • Climate-vegetation-land use linkages in Europe



  • Vegetation Ecology and Population Biology 
  • Nature Conservation and Forest Management 
  • Climate Sciences 
  • Archaeology and Archaeobotany
  • Earth and Quaternary Sciences