Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/gcb.15447
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Widespread decline in Central European plant diversity across six decades
Author Eichenberg, D.; Bowler, D.E.; Bonn, A. ORCID logo ; Bruelheide, H.; Grescho, V.; Harter, D.; Jandt, U.; May, R.; Winter, M.; Jansen, F.
Source Titel Global Change Biology
Year 2021
Department iDiv; ESS
Volume 27
Issue 5
Page From 1097
Page To 1110
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords biodiversity change; floristic turnover; heterogeneous data; macroecology; occurrence records; reporting bias; spatiotemporal analysis
Abstract Based on plant occurrence data covering all parts of Germany, we investigated changes in the distribution of 2136 plant species between 1960 and 2017. We analyzed 29 million occurrence records over an area of ~350,000 km2 on a 5 × 5 km grid using temporal and spatiotemporal models and accounting for sampling bias. Since the 1960s, more than 70% of investigated plant species showed declines in nationwide occurrence. Archaeophytes (species introduced before 1492) most strongly declined but also native plant species experienced severe declines. In contrast, neophytes (species introduced after 1492) increased in their nationwide occurrence but not homogeneously throughout the country. Our analysis suggests that the strongest declines in native species already happened in the 1960s–1980s, a time frame in which often few data exist. Increases in neophytic species were strongest in the 1990s and 2010s. Overall, the increase in neophytes did not compensate for the loss of other species, resulting in a decrease in mean grid cell species richness of −1.9% per decade. The decline in plant biodiversity is a widespread phenomenon occurring in different habitats and geographic regions. It is likely that this decline has major repercussions on ecosystem functioning and overall biodiversity, potentially with cascading effects across trophic levels. The approach used in this study is transferable to other large‐scale trend analyses using heterogeneous occurrence data.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Eichenberg, D., Bowler, D.E., Bonn, A., Bruelheide, H., Grescho, V., Harter, D., Jandt, U., May, R., Winter, M., Jansen, F. (2021):
Widespread decline in Central European plant diversity across six decades
Glob. Change Biol. 27 (5), 1097 - 1110 10.1111/gcb.15447