Mathias Kuemmerlen

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Dr. Mathias Kuemmerlen

Postdoctoral Researcher


Research interests
Most of my research deals with the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems and biodiversity. I focus on freshwater ecosystems, which are considered to be among the most threatened globally. Species distribution models (SDM) are well suited tools to understand how present and future environmental patterns affect species distributions. However, applying SDMs to freshwater ecosystems is particularly challenging. During my PhD thesis, I started using SDMs for small scale catchments and investigated how environmental properties of freshwater ecosystems can be taken into account to produce high-resolution predictions. This approach requires freshwater specific predictors (e.g. hydrology) and common predictors modified to fit the hierarchical structure of river networks (e.g. sub-catchment specific approach). Viewing the stream from a distance, as a catchment and in the context of the landscape it is embedded in, provides a unique perspective to understand what happens within the stream.

Currently, I continue developing this approach, mostly based on data from the long term ecological research (LTER) site Rhein-Main-Observatorium in Germany. Additional SDM applications include models for larger areas, at the regional and continental scales. Distribution predictions for freshwater ecosystems are still rare and can provide information of great relevance to ecology, conservation and landscape management. Earlier on, my research included biological processes as functional indicators of ecosystem integrity using aquatic hyphomycetes and leaf litter processing in streams. I have also worked with birds, bats and epiphytes in the Neotropics, Europe and Asia.

Google Scholar Profile

Phone: +49 (0) 6051 61954 3112

Selected Publications
2015 Kuemmerlen, M., Schmalz, B., Cai, Q., Fohrer, N., Jähnig, S.C. “An attack on two fronts: how predicted climate and land use affect the distribution of stream macroinvertebrates”. Freshwater Biology, DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12580. abstract | press release

2015 Domisch, S., Jähnig, S.C., Simaika, J.P., Kuemmerlen, M.*, Stoll, S.* “Application of species distribution models in stream ecosystems: the challenge of spatial scale, environmental predictors and species occurrence data”. Fundamental and Applied Limnology/Archiv für Hydrobiologie 186 (1-2), 45-61. *Shared last authorship. abstract

2015 Kuemmerlen, M., Petzoldt, T., Domisch, S. “Ecological models in freshwater ecosystems”. Fundamental and Applied Limnology/Archiv für Hydrobiologie 186 (1-2), 1-3. pdf

2014 Kuemmerlen, M., Guse, B., Schmalz, B., Cai, Q., Fohrer, N., Jähnig, S. “Integrating catchment properties in small scale distribution models of stream macroinvertebrates”. Ecological Modelling 277, 77–86. abstract

2012 Jähnig*, S.C., Kuemmerlen*, M., Kiesel*, J., Domisch, S., Cai, Q., Schmalz, B., Fohrer, N. “Modelling of riverine ecosystems by integrated models: conceptual approach, a case study and research agenda.” Journal of Biogeography 39, 2253–2263. *Shared first authorship. abstract


Full list of publications