Dr. Eike Lena Neuschulz
7-3.10: Biodiversity and Area Dynamics of Vertebrates
Fields of interest
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.
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
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.
Plein M., L. Längsfeld, E. L. Neuschulz, C. Schultheiß, L. Ingmann, T. Töpfer, K. Böhning-Gaese, & M. Schleuning (2013) Constant properties of plant-frugivore networks despite fluctuations in fruit and bird communities in space and time. Ecology 94:1296-1306.
Neuschulz E. L., M. Brown & N. Farwig (2013) Frequent bird movement activity across a highly fragmented landscape: the role of species traits and forest configuration. Animal Conservation 16: 170-179
Neuschulz E. L., I. Grass, A. Botzat, S. D. Johnson & N. Farwig (2013) Persistence of flower visitors and pollination services of a generalist tree in modified forests. Austral Ecology 38:374-382.
Neuschulz E. L., A. Botzat & N. Farwig (2011) Effects of forest modification on bird community composition and seed removal in a heterogeneous landscape in South Africa. Oikos 120:1371-1379