Dr. Franziska Taubert


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

Department of Ecological Modelling

Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig

Building 1.0, Room 202

Tel.: +49 341 235-1896
Fax: +49 341 235-451896

Franziska Taubert

Research interests

  • forest and grassland modelling
  • structure and dynamics of forests and grasslands under disturbance and climate change
  • methods in ecology


Understanding global forest fragmentation patterns

By the analysis of high-resolution remote sensing data, we show that in the tropics and subtropics similar patterns of the distribution of fragment sizes across the continents America, Africa and Asia-Australia emerge. These patterns closely follow analytical predictions of percolation theory at some specific point (critical point of percolation). We developed a dynamic fragmentation model based on principles of percolation theory which allows to simulate fragmentation of coninental-wide tropical forest areas (of 30 m resolution). In our simulations, we demonstrate that beyond the critical point continental tropical landscapes will consist of 33-fold small and isolated forest fragments in the future if deforestation proceeds as currently observed. Our scenario analysis shows that even efforts of reforestation and decreased deforestation still would lead to an enhanced fragmentation of forests.

See also

Publication: Global patterns of tropical forest fragmentation

Download (accepted manuscript version of 9 January 2018) (1.4 MB)

UFZ press release

Online-Blog (Nature Ecology & Evolution Community, Behind the Paper)

Forests and Grassland Dynamics

Remote Sensing and Ecological Modelling

Forest fragment The aerial photo shows forest fragments of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest in Northeastern Brazil (Mata Atlântica), surrounded by sugar cane plantations.
Photo: Mateus Dantas de Paula

Explaining the structure of tropcial forests

We developed a forest packing model (FPM) which uses simple principles of stochastic geometry and successfully reproduces the structure of natural tropical forests in terms of

  • their tree size distribution,
  • vertical leaf area distribution, and
  • local horizontal structure (e.g. local forest height, local packing density)

See also

Publication: The structure of tropical forests and sphere packings (open-access)

Forests and Grassland Dynamics

Simulating species-rich grasslands with GRASSMIND

GRASSMIND is an individual- and process-based model designed for simulating the structure and dynamcis of herbaceous communities including

  • competition between individual plants for light, space, soil water and nitrogen
  • different management regimes(mowing, irrigation, fertilization)
  • climatic changes (drought events, increased temperatures, ...)


See also

Model concept of GRASSMIND (Supplementary data of review paper)

Forests and Grassland Dynamics

Energy Transition

Integrated Project EnergyLandUse: Sustainable Renewable Energy-Landscapes

  • Dantas de Paula, M., Groeneveld, J., Fischer, R., Taubert, F., Martins, V.F., Huth, A., (2018):
    Defaunation impacts on seed survival and its effect on the biomass of future tropical forests
    Oikos 127 (10), 1526 - 1538
    final draft (pdf)
  • Landuyt, D., Perring, M.P., Seidl, R., Taubert, F., Verbeeck, H., Verheyen, K., (2018):
    Modelling understorey dynamics in temperate forests under global change–Challenges and perspectives
    Perspect. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 31 , 44 - 54
    full text (url)
  • Rödig, E., Cuntz, M., Rammig, A., Fischer, R., Taubert, F., Huth, A., (2018):
    The importance of forest structure for carbon fluxes of the Amazon rainforest
    Environ. Res. Lett. 13 (5), art. 054013
    full text (url)
  • Taubert, F., Fischer, R., Groeneveld, J., Lehmann, S., Müller, M.S., Rödig, E., Wiegand, T., Huth, A., (2018):
    Global patterns of tropical forest fragmentation
    Nature 554 (7693), 519 - 522
    full text (url)
  • Naegler, T., Szarka, N., Henning, H.-M., Brendel, R., Niepelt, R., Taubert, F., Fischedick, M., (2017):
    Transformationsszenarien für das deutsche Energiesystem
    In: Szczepanski, P., Wunschick, F., Martin, N., (Hrsg.)
    Forschung für die Energiewende : die Gestaltung des Energiesystems. Beiträge zur Jahrestagung 2016 des ForschungsVerbunds Erneuerbare Energien, 2. und 3. November 2016, Umweltforum Berlin. FVEE-Themen
    Themen / ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien
    ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien (FVEE), Berlin, S. 6 - 10
    full text (url)
  • Fischer, R., Bohn, F., Dantas de Paula, M., Dislich, C., Groeneveld, J., Gutiérrez, A.G., Kazmierczak, M., Knapp, N., Lehmann, S., Paulick, S., Pütz, S., Rödig, E., Taubert, F., Köhler, P., Huth, A., (2016):
    Lessons learned from applying a forest gap model to understand ecosystem and carbon dynamics of complex tropical forests
    Ecol. Model. 326 , 124 - 133
    full text (url)
  • Kazmierczak, M., Backmann, P., Fedriani, J.M., Fischer, R., Hartmann, A.K., Huth, A., May, F., Müller, M.S., Taubert, F., Grimm, V., Groeneveld, J., (2016):
    Monodominance in tropical forests: modelling reveals emerging clusters and phase transitions
    J. R. Soc. Interface 13 (117), art. 0123
    full text (url)
  • Taubert, F., Jahn, M.W., Dobner, H.-J., Wiegand, T., Huth, A., (2015):
    The structure of tropical forests and sphere packings
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112 (49), 15125 - 15129
    full text (url)
  • Taubert, F., (2014):
    Modelling and analysing the structure and dynamics of species-rich grasslands and forests
    Dissertation, Universität Osnabrück
    PhD Dissertation 5/2014
    Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ, Leipzig, 148 pp.
    full text (pdf)
  • Taubert, F., Hartig, F., Dobner, H.-J., Huth, A., (2013):
    On the challenge of fitting tree size distributions in ecology
    PLOS One 8 (2), e58036
    full text (url)
  • Taubert, F., Frank, K., Huth, A., (2012):
    A review of grassland models in the biofuel context
    Ecol. Model. 245 , 84 - 93
    full text (url)
since 2013 Postdoc at the Department of Ecological Modelling
2010 - 2013 PhD student at the Department of Ecological Modelling
2008 - 2010 Master in Applied Mathematics at the University of Applied Science (HTWK) Leipzig
2004 - 2008 Diploma in Business Mathematics at the University of Applied Science (HTWK) Leipzig