Matthias Schleuning

PD Dr. Matthias Schleuning

Senior scientist


Fields of interest

I am fascinated by interactions between organisms, especially if they are mutually beneficial for both partners*. To disentangle webs of interacting organisms, I study species interactions in ecological communities along anthropogenic gradients and across large spatial scales. My research aims at the identification of the major ecological and evolutionary drivers of species interactions and at a better understanding of the functional importance of species interactions for entire ecosystems. I hope that this work will help to improve predictions of the consequences of species loss for ecosystem functioning. (*I usually become enthusiastic if one of the interaction partners has wings and a beak.)

- Mutualistic plant-animal networks
- Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
- Functional diversity of ecological communities
- Pollination and seed dispersal by animals
- Plant demography

- Observational and experimental field studies
- Meta-analyses across large spatial scales
- Trait-based network analysis
- Structural equation modeling

Study areas
- Tropical Andes
- Tropical and subtropical Africa
- Germany



Recent publications:

Saavedra, F., Hensen, I. & Schleuning, M. (online early). Deforested habitats lack seeds of late‐successional and large‐seeded plant species in tropical montane forests. Applied Vegetation Science, doi: 10.1111/avsc.12184

Maglianesi, M.A., Blüthgen, N., Böhning-Gaese, K. & Schleuning, M. (online early). Functional structure and specialization in three tropical plant–hummingbird interaction networks across an elevational gradient in Costa Rica. Ecography, doi: 10.1111/ecog.01538

Schmid, B., Nottebrock, H., Esler, K.J., Pagel, J., Pauw, A., Böhning-Gaese, K., Schurr, F.M. & Schleuning, M. (2015). Reward quality predicts effects of bird-pollinators on the reproduction of African Protea shrubs. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 17, 209–217.

Schleuning, M., Fründ, J. & García, D. (2015). Predicting ecosystem functions from biodiversity and mutualistic networks: an extension of trait-based concepts to plant-animal interactions. Ecography, 38, 380–392.

Kissling, W.D. & Schleuning, M. (2015). Multispecies interactions across trophic levels at macroscales: retrospective and future directions. Ecography, 38, 346–357.

Maglianesi, M.A., Böhning-Gaese, K. & Schleuning, M. (2015). Different foraging preferences of hummingbirds on artificial and natural flowers reveal mechanisms structuring plant-pollinator interactions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84, 655–664.

Press coverage:

Interaction networks
Flexible Tropen-Arten [German]
Neue Züricher Zeitung (CH) - Print und Online, 26 September 2012
Tropische Artenvielfalt macht Vögel nicht zu Spezialisten [German]
Der Standard (A), 21 September 2012

Conservation biology
Ants plant rainforests, one seed at a time [English]
Mongabay.com, 14 April 2014
Ants help plant tomorrow's rainforests [English]
Science Magazine, 21 March 2014
Biodiversity = More (and Better) Coffee [English]
The Scientist, 11 February 2014
Functional Fragments [English]
Conservation Magazine, 29 November 2011
Überraschender Nutzen - Auch Regenwaldinseln erfüllen ökologische Funktionen [German]
Deutschlandfunk (D), 16 December 2011
Nützlicher Flickenteppich [German]
Welt (D), 28 November 2011
Selbst fragmentierter Wald behält seine ökologischen Funktionen [German]
Der Standard (A), 25 November 2011

Phone: 069 7542 1892
Google scholar: http://scholar.google.de/citations?user=Rqf-GcEAAAAJ&hl=de
Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matthias_Schleuning
Researcher ID: H-2154-2015