Plant Biodiversity

© Deborah Schäfer

We investigate different aspects of plant biodiversity and global change ecology, mainly on the community level. We especially aim to identify the impact of different drivers for the loss of plant biodiversity to provide a basis for sustainable conservation applications. In the Biodiversity Exploratory Project, for instance, we study the effect of land use in grasslands and forest management on the diversity of plants, and in turn, the effects of diversity on ecosystem functioning. Beside the plant communities themselves, we also investigate interactions between plants and other organisms such as herbivores and pollinators, microbes and fungi. For this purpose, we often work closely together with the Botanical Garden of the University of Bern with its living plant collection and the collection of the Herbarium of the University of Bern.

Recent Research Projects

  • The Botany Project of the Biodiversity Exploratories
  • The effect of altitude on plant diversity along elevational gradients in the Swiss Alps
  • The “Schynige Platte”-experiment on the legacy effect of fertilization on plant diversity in an Alpine grassland
  • Plant pollination and herbivory under global change


Dr. Daniel Prati (
Dr. Katja Rembold (