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

  • Modern pollen - vegetation - plant diversity relationships across large environmental gradients in northern Greece
    Senn, Carolina; Tinner, Willy; Felde, Vivian A.; Gobet, Erika; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; et al.
    Holocene 10.1177/09596836211060494  NOV 2021
  • 14,500 years of vegetation and land use history in the upper continental montane zone at Lac de Champex (Valais, Switzerland)
    Rey, Fabian; Brugger, Sandra O.; Gobet, Erika; Andenmatten, Romain; Bonini, Andrea; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany 10.1007/s00334-021-00859-6  NOV 2021
  • First absolute chronologies of neolithic and bronze age settlements at Lake Ohrid based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating
    Hafner, Albert; Reich, Johannes; Ballmer, Ariane; Bolliger, Matthias; Antolin, Ferran; et al.
    Journal Of Archaeological Science-reports 10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.103107 AUG 2021
  • Olive groves around the lake. A ten-thousand-year history of a Cretan landscape (Greece) reveals the dominant role of humans in making this Mediterranean ecosystem
    Jouffroy-Bapicot, Isabelle; Pedrotta, Tiziana; Debret, Maxime; Field, Sophie; Sulpizio, Roberto; et al.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107072  SEP 1 2021
  • Palynological investigations reveal Eemian interglacial vegetation dynamics at Spiezberg, Bernese Alps, Switzerland
    Schlafli, Patrick; Gobet, Erika; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; Vescovi, Elisa; Schwenk, Michael A.; et al.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.106975 JUL 1 2021
  • Holocene vegetation, fire and land use dynamics at Lake Svityaz, an agriculturally marginal site in northwestern Ukraine
    Schworer, Christoph; Gobet, Erika; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; Bogli, Sarah; Imboden, Rachel; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany 10.1007/s00334-021-00844-z  JUN 2021
  • Influence of taxonomic resolution on the value of anthropogenic pollen indicators
    Deza-Araujo, Mara; Morales-Molino, Cesar; Conedera, Marco; Pezzatti, Gianni B.; Pasta, Salvatore; Tinner Willy
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany  10.1007/s00334-021-00838-x  MAY 2021
  • 8,000 years of climate, vegetation, fire and land-use dynamics in the thermo-mediterranean vegetation belt of northern Sardinia (Italy)
    Pedrotta, Tiziana; Gobet, Erika; Schworer, Christoph; Beffa, Giorgia; Butz, Christoph; et al.
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany  10.1007/s00334-021-00832-3  Early Access: APR 2021
  • Mountain aquatic Isoetes populations reflect millennial-scale environmental changes in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem, Central Europe
    Moravcova, Alice; Ticha, Anna; Carter, Vachel A.; Vondrak, Daniel; Ctvrtlikova, Martina; et al.
    Holocene 10.1177/0959683620988060 Published: MAY 2021
  • The last hunter-gatherers and early farmers of the middle southern Buh River Valley (Central Ukraine) in VIII-V MILL. BC
    Kiosak, Dmytro; Kotova, Nadiia; Tinner, Willy; Szidat, Soenke; Nielsen, Ebbe H.; et al.
    Radiocarbon 10.1017/RDC.2020.120 Published: FEB 2021
  • Variations of sedimentary Fe and Mn fractions under changing lake mixing regimes, oxygenation and land surface processes during Late-glacial and Holocene times
    Makri, Stamatina; Wienhues, Giulia; Bigalke, Moritz; Gilli, Adrian; Rey, Fabian; et al.
    Science Of The Total Environment 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143418 FEB 10 2021
  • Using Temporally Resolved Floral Resource Maps to Explain Bumblebee Colony Performance in Agricultural Landscapes
    Eckerter, Philipp W.; Albus, Lars; Natarajan, Sharumathi; Albrecht, Matthias; Ammann, Lolita; et al.
    Agronomy-basel 10.3390/agronomy10121993 DEC 2020
  • Long-Term Responses of Mediterranean Mountain Forests to Climate Change, Fire and Human Activities in the Northern Apennines (Italy)
    Morales-Molino, Cesar; Steffen, Marianne; Samartin, Stephanie; van Leeuwen, Jaqueline F. N.; Hurlimann, Daniel; et al.
    Ecosystems  10.1007/s10021-020-00587-4  DEC 2020
  • Tracing devastating fires in Portugal to a snow archive in the Swiss Alps: a case study
    Osmont, Dimitri; Brugger, Sandra; Gilgen, Anina; Weber, Helga; Sigl, Michael; et al.
    Cryosphere 10.5194/tc-14-3731-2020 NOV 5 2020
  • The Eurasian Modern Pollen Database (EMPD), version 2
    Davis, Basil A. S.; Chevalier, Manuel; Sommer, Philipp; Carter, Vachel A.; Finsinger, Walter; et al.
    Earth System Science Data   10.5194/essd-12-2423-2020 OCT 9 2020
  • Summer temperature development 18,000-14,000 cal. BP recorded by a new chironomid record from Burgaschisee, Swiss Plateau
    Bolland, Alexander; Rey, Fabian; Gobet, Erika; Tinner, Willy; Heiri, Oliver
    Quaternary Science Reviews 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106484 SEP 1 2020
  • Early to late Holocene vegetation and fire dynamics at the treeline in the Maritime Alps
    Finsinger, Walter; Vanel, Quentin; Ribolini, Adriano; Tinner, Willy
    Vegetation History And Archaeobotany 10.1007/s00334-020-00795-x   SEP 2020
  • Climate impacts on vegetation and fire dynamics since the last deglaciation at Moossee (Switzerland)
    Rey, Fabian; Gobet, Erika; Schwoerer, Christoph; Hafner, Albert; Szidat, Soenke; et al.
    Climate Of The Past 10.5194/cp-16-1347-2020 JUL 28 2020
  • Shaping Mediterranean landscapes: The cultural impact of anthropogenic fires in Tyrrhenian southern Tuscany during the Iron and Middle Ages (800-450 BC / AD 650-1300)
    Buonincontri, Mauro Paolo; Pieruccini, Pierluigi; Susini, Davide; Lubritto, Carmine; Ricci, Paola; et al.
    Holocene  10.1177/0959683620932978 OCT 2020
  • 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
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