Eike Lena Neuschulz









Dr. Eike Lena Neuschulz

Member of Senior Scientist Group 'Functional Ecology and Global Change'

Research interests

I am interested in species communities and their ecosystem functions and services. In particular, I study ecosystem functions provided by birds across elevational gradients in temperate and tropical mountain regions. My recent work centres on experimental community ecology, so I combine field observations with experiments to analyse the interactions between plants and animals. In one of these studies, we examine seed dispersal pattern by nutcrackers (Nucifraga caryocatactes) along micro-environmental gradients in alpine pine forests. We seek to investigate, how directed seed dispersal by nutcrackers relates to the potential of Swiss stone pine seedlings (Pinus cembra) to establish. We also study how abiotic drivers and other biotic interaction partners, such as seed predating rodents or soil fungal communities, determine the range limits of the Swiss stone pine.

DFG project NE 1863 2-1 “Differential effects of seed dispersal interactions on plant regeneration across environmental gradients” ; PhD Student Dominik Merges

In another project, we study bird communities and fruit-frugivore interaction networks across an elevational and disturbance gradient in the tropical Andes of Southern Ecuador.

My previous field studies focused on plant-animal interactions (pollination and seed dispersal) across gradients of land-use intensity in subtropical South African forests. Furthermore, I investigated how habitat changes influence the movement behaviour of bird communities in this mosaic landscape.


Biodiversity, species interactions, ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, experimental community ecology, birds, seed dispersal, nature conservation, habitat fragmentation, global change

Selected Publications

Merges, D., M. Bálint, I. Schmitt, K. Böhning-Gaese & E. L. Neuschulz (2018) Spatial patterns of mutualistic and pathogenic fungi across the elevational range of a host plant, Journal of Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12942

Quitián, M., V. Santillán, C. I. Espinosa, J. Homeier, K. Böhning-Gaese, M. Schleuning & E. L. Neuschulz (2017) Elevation-dependent effects of forest fragmentation on plant-bird interaction networks in the tropical Andes, Ecography, 40:1-10, doi: 10.1111/ecog.03247

featured in the Ecography Blog

Neuschulz, E. L., D. Merges, K. Bollmann, F. Gugerli & K. Böhning-Gaese (2017) Biotic interactions and seed deposition rather than abiotic factors determine recruitment at elevational range limits of an alpine tree. Journal of Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12818

featured among others in NZZ

Neuschulz, E. L., T. Mueller, M. Schleuning & K. Böhning-Gaese (2016) Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration. Scientific Reports 6: 29839, doi:10.1038/srep29839

featured among others in ScienceDaily.

Neuschulz, E. L., T. Mueller, K. Bollmann, F. Gugerli & K. Böhning-Gaese (2015) Seed perishability determines the caching behavior of a food-hoarding bird. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 71-78.

featured among others in Spektrum, Scientific American & Naturzyt.



Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1872