Global Change Experimental Ecology


Our group is interested in interactions between plants, invertebrates and microbes. In the focus of our research are:

  • Effects of invertebrate herbivores and pathogens on plant communities, species coexistence and ecosystem functions.
  • Impacts of belowground mutualists on plant-herbivore interactions.
  • Relationships between land use and invertebrate decomposer communities and effects on ecosystem functions

In particular, we are interested how these processes are affected by global change drivers like land use change and climate change. We use mainly experimental approaches (from field to the lab) which are supplemented by studies on the landscape scale.


We are currently involved in the following projects:

  • Global Change Experimental Facility

  • Staccato - Sustaining agricultural change through ecological engineering and optimal use of natural resources

  • Legato - Land-use intensity and Ecological Engineering – Assessment Tools for risks and Opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems

  • TrophinOak - Multitrophic interactions with oaks. A controlled system with oak microcuttings to study gene expression and resource allocation in multitrophic interactions.

  • DroughtNEt - Global network to assess terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought


Martin Schädler

Head of group, principal investigator

Phone +49-345-558 5307




Anja Schmidt, Dr.

Post Doc

Phone +49-345-558 5405




Robin Schmidt

Ph.D. student

My PhD project is about the importance of antagonistic interactions on plant species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. I focus on how pathogens and herbivores act to maintain species diversity in grassland ecosystems and how invasion by exotic species impacts this relationship. To answer these questions I established a field experiment that includes native and exotic plants sown at different frequencies and exclusion of antagonists by pesticide application. Greenhouse experiments to study trade-offs between competitive ability and defense of plant species, as well as molecular analyses to identify fungal species will complement my findings in the field.

Phone +49-345-558 5316




Rui Yin

Ph.D. student

Phone +49-345-558 5222



Konrad Kirsch


Phone +49-345-558 5389


Schädler, M., Ballhorn, D.J. (2016): Beneficial soil microbiota as mediators of the plant defensive phenotype and aboveground plant-herbivore interactions. Progress in Botany, in press.

Ballhorn, D.J., Schädler, M., Elias, J.D., Millar, J.A., Kautz, S. (2016): Friend or foe - light availability determines the relationship between mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobia and lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.). PloS One 11(5): e0154116.

Herrmann, S., Grams, T.E.E., Tarkka, M.T., Angay, O., Bacht, M., Bönn, M., Feldhahn, L., Graf, M., Kurth, F., Maboreke, H., Mailander, S., Recht, S., Fleischmann, F., Ruess, L., Schädler, M., Scheu, S., Schrey, S., Buscot, F. (2016): Endogenous rhythmic growth, a trait suitable for the study of interplays between
multitrophic interactions and tree development. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 19: 40-48. Herrmann et al. 2016 PPEES.pdf

Kagezi, G.H., Kaib, M., NYeko, P., Bakuneeta, C., Schädler, M., Brandl, R. (2016): Negative impacts of land-use intensification on litter decomposition in Western Kenya. Web Ecology 16: 51-58. [download]

Marxen, A., Klotzbücher, T., Jahn, R., Kaiser, K., Nguyen, V.S., Schmidt, A., Schädler, M., Vetterlein, D. (2016): Interaction between silicon cycling and straw decomposition in a silicon deficient rice production system. Plant and Soil 398: 153-163. Marxen et al 2016 Plant Soil.pdf

Schmidt, A., Auge, H., Brandl, R., Heong, K.L., Hotes, S., Settele, J., Villareal, S., Schädler, M. (2015): Small-scale variability in the contribution of invertebrates to litter decomposition in tropical rice fields. Basic and Applied Ecology 16: 674-680.Schmidt et a 22015 BAE.pdf

Settele, J., Spangenberg, J.H., Heong, K.L., Burkhard, B., Bustamante, J.V., Cabbigat, J., Chien, H.V., Escalada, M., Grescho, V., Hai, L.H., Harpke, A., Horgan, F.G., Hotes, S., Jahn, R., Kühn, I., Marquez, L., Schädler, M., Tekken, V., Vetterlein, D., Villareal, S.B., Westphal, C., Wiemers, M. (2015): Agricultural landscapes and ecosystem services in South-East Asia - the LEGATO-Project. Basic and Applied Ecology 16: 661-664.Settele et al 2015 BAE.pdf

Schmidt, A., John, K., Arida, G., Auge, H., Brandl, R., Horgan, F.G., Hotes, S., Marquez, L. Rademacher, N., Settele, J., Wolters, V., Schädler, M. (2015): Effects or residue management on decomposition in irrigated rice fields are not related to changes in the decomposer community. PloS ONE 10(79): e0134402.Schmidt et al 2015 PlosOne.pdf

Schröder, B., Steiner, N., Merbach, I., Schädler, M., Filser, J. (2015): Collembolan reproduction in soils from a long-term fertilisation experiment opposes the Growth Rate Hypothesis. European Journal of Soil Biology 68: 56-60. Schröder et al. 2015.pdf

Godschalx, A.L., Schädler, M., Triesel, J.A., Balkan, M.A., Ballhorn, D.J. (2015):Ants are less attracted to the extrafloral nectar of plants with symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Ecology 96: 348-354. Godschalx et al 2015 Ecology.pdf

Alalouni, U., Brandl, R., Auge, H., Schädler, M. (2014): Does insect herbivory on oak depend on the diversity of tree stands? Basic and Applied Ecology 15: 685-692.AlAlouni et al 2014 BAAE.pdf

Ballhorn, D.J., Godschalx, A.L., Smart, S.M., Kautz, S., Schädler, M. (2014): Chemical defense lowers plant competitiveness. Oecologia 176: 811-824. pdf

Alalouni U., Lobinger, G., Schädler M., Brandl R. (2014): Natural enemies of the Gypsy Moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) at low population density. Entomologia Generalis 35: 117-127.

Alalouni U., Schädler M., Brandl R. (2013): Natural enemies and environmental facotrs affecting the population dynamics of the gypsy moth. Journal of Applied Entomology 137: 721-738. Alalouni et al 2013 J Appl Entomol.pdf

Ballhorn. D., Kautz, S., Schädler, M. (2013): Induced plant defense via volatile production is dependent on rhizobial symbiosis. Oecologia 172: 833-846. Ballhorn et al 2013 Oecologia.pdf

Tarkka, M.T., Herrmann, S., Wubet, T., Feldhahn, L., Recht, S., Kurth, F., Mailänder, S., Bönn, M., Neef, M., Angay, O., Bacht, M., Graf, M., Maboreke, H., Fleischmann, F., Grams, T.E.E., Ruess, L., Schädler, M., Brandl, R., Scheu, S., Schrey, S.D., Grosse, I., Buscot, F., (2013): OakContigDF159.1, a reference library for studying differential gene expression in Quercus robur during controlled biotic interactions: use for quantitative transcriptomic profiling of oak roots in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. New Phytologist 199: 529 - 540. Tarkka et al 2013 New Phytol.pdf

Walter, J., Hein, R., Beierkuhnlien, C., Hammerl, V., Jentsch, A., Schädler, M., Schuerings, J., Kreyling, J. (2013): Combined effects of multifactor climate change and land-use on decomposition in temperate grassland. Reprint

Xu, Z., Tu, L., Hu,T., Schädler, M. (2013): Implications of greater than average increases in nitrogen deposition on the western edge of the Szechwan Basin, China. Environmental Pollution 177: 201-202.

Walter, J., Hein, R., Auge, H., Beierkuhnlein, C., Löffler, S., Reifenrath, K., Schädler, M., Weber, M., Jentsch, A. (2012): How do extreme drought and plant community composition affect host plant metabolites and herbivore performance? Arthropod-Plant Interactions 6: 15-25. Reprint

Gießelmann, U.C., Geronazzo Martins, K., Brändle, M., Schädler, M. , Marques, R., Brandl, R. (2011): Lack of home-field advantage in the decomposition of leaf litter in the Atlantic Rainforest. Applied Soil Ecology 49: 5-10. Reprint

Kempel, A., Schädler, M., Chrobock, T., Fischer, M., van Kleunen, M. (2011): Trade-offs associated with constitutive and induced plant defence against herbivores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 108: 5685-5689. Reprint

Jentsch, A., Kreyling, J., Elmer, M., Gellesch, E., Glaser, B., Grant, K., Hein, R., Lara, M., Mirzae, H., Nadler S.E., Nagy, L., Otieno, D., Pritsch, K., Rascher, U., Schädler, M., Schloter, M., Singh, B.K., Stadler, J., Walter, J., Wellstein, C., Wöllecke, J., Beierkuhnlein, C. (2011): Climate extremes initiate ecosystem-regulating functions while maintaining productivity. Journal of Ecology 99: 689-702. Reprint

Kagezi, G.H., Kaib, M., Bakuneeta, C., Schädler, M. , Brandl, R. (2011): Decomposition of tissue baits and termite density along gradient of human land-use intensification in Western Kenya. Journal of African Ecology 49:267-276. Reprint

Thamer, S., Schädler, M. , Bonte, D., Ballhorn, D.J. (2011): Dual benefit from a belowground symbiosis: nitrogen fixing rhizobia promote growth and defense against a specialist herbivore in a cyanogenic plant. Plant and Soil 341: 209-219. Reprint

Eisenhauer, N., Schädler, M. (2011): Inconsistent impacts of decomposer diversity on the stability of aboveground and belowground ecosystem functions. Oecologia Reprint

Gießelmann, U.C., Martins, K.G., Brändle, M., Schädler, M., Marques, R., Brandl, R. (2010): Diversity and ecosystem functioning: Litter decomposition dynamics in the atlantic rainforest. Applied Soil Ecology 46: 283-290. Reprint

Meyer, K.M., Münkemüller, T., Schiffers, K., Schädler, M., Calabrese, J.M., Basset, A., Breulmann, M., Duquesne, S., Hidding, B., Huth, A., Schöb, C., van de Voorde, T. (2010): Predicting population and community dynamics – the type of aggregation matters. Basic and Applied Ecology 11: 563-571 Reprint

Schädler, M., Brandl, R. & Kempel, A. (2010): "Afterlife"-effects of mycorrhization on the decomposition of plant residues. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 42: 521-523. Reprint

Schädler, M., Brandl, R. & Kempel, A. (2010): Host plant genotype determines bottom-up effects in an aphid-parasitoid-predator system. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 135: 162-169. Reprint

Fründ, H.C., Butt, K., Capowiez, Y., Eisenhauer, N., Emmerling, C., Ernst, G., Potthoff, M., Schädler, M.., Schrader, S. (2010): Using earthworms as model organisms in the laboratory: recommendations for experimental implementations. Pedobiologia 53: 119-125. Reprint

Kempel, A.; Brandl, R. & Schädler, M. (2010): Support from the underground – Induced plant defence is dependent on arbuscular mycorrhiza. Functional Ecology 24: 293-300.Reprint

Ruhnke, H., Schädler, M., Matthies D., Klotz, S. & Brandl, R. (2009): Variability in leaf traits, insect herbivory and herbivore performance within and among indivudals of four broad-leaved tree species. Basic and Applied Ecology 10: 726-736. Reprint

Van der Putten, W.H.; Bardgett, R.D.; De Ruiter, P.C.; Hol, W.H.G.; Meyer, K.M.; Bezemer, T.M.; Bradford, M.A.; Christensen, S.; Eppinga, M.B.; Fukami, T.; Hemerik, L.; Molofsky, J.; Schädler, M.; Scherber, C.; Strauss, S.Y.; Vos, M. & Wardle, D.A. (2009): Empirical and theoretical challenges in aboveground-belowground ecology.Oecologia. Reprint

Kempel, A.; Brandl, R. & Schädler, M. (2009): Symbiotic soil microorganisms as players in aboveground plant-herbivore interactions – the role of rhizobia. Oikos 118: 634-640. Reprint

Haase, J.; Scheu, S.,;Brandl, R. &Schädler, M. (2008): Above-belowground interactions are mediated by nutrient availability. Ecology 89: 3072-3089. Reprint

Schädler, M., Rottstock, T. & Brandl, R.(2008): Do nutrients and invertebrate herbivory interact in an artificial plant community? Basic and Applied Ecology 9: 550-559. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Brandl, R. & Haase, J. (2007): Antagonistic interactions between plant competition and insect herbivory by aphids. Ecology 88: 1490-1498. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Roeder, M.; Brandl, R. & Matthies, D. (2007): Interacting effects of elevated CO2, nutrient availability and plant species on a generalist herbivore. Global Change Biology 13: 1005-1015. Reprint

Endlweber, K.; Schädler, M. & Scheu, S. (2006): Effects of above- and belowground insecticide applications on the Collembola community of an early set-aside arable field. Applied Soil Ecology 31: 136-146. Reprint

Ruhnke, H.; Schädler, M..; Matthies, D.; Klotz, S. & Brandl, R. (2006): Are sawflies adapted to individual host trees? A test of the adaptive deme formation hypothesis. Evolutionary Ecology Research 8: 1039 – 1048. Reprint

Schädler, M. & Brandl, R. (2005): Do invertebrate decomposers affect the disappearance rate of litter mixtures? Soil Biology & Biochemistry 37: 329-337. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Rottstock, T. & Brandl, R. (2005): Food web properties in aquatic microcosms with litter mixtures are predictable from component species. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 163: 211-223. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Roeder, M.; Brandl, R. & Matthies, D. (2005): Is palatability of a root hemiparasite influenced by its host species? Oecologia 146: 227-233. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Alphei, J.; Scheu, S.; Brandl, R. & Auge, H. (2004): Resource dynamics in an early-successional plant community are influenced by insect exclusion. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 36: 1817-1826. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Jung, G.; Brandl, R. & Auge, H. (2004): Secondary succession is influenced by belowground insect herbivory on a productive site. Oecologia 138: 242-252. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Jung, G.; Auge, H. & Brandl, R. (2003): Palatability, decomposition and insect herbivory: patterns in a successional old-field community. Oikos 103: 121-132. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Jung, G.; Auge, H. & Brandl, R. (2003): Does the Fretwell-Oksanen model apply to invertebrates? Oikos 100: 203 – 207. Reprint

Schädler, M.; Witsack, W. (1999): Variation of postembryonic development time and number of nymphal instars in central european grasshoppers on a small spatial scale (Caelifera: Acrididae). Entomologia Generalis 24 (2): 125-135. Reprint

Books/Book chapters:

Bräuniger, C., Schädler, M., Stadler, J. (2008): Interacting effects of mechanical disturbance and insect exclusion on the vegetation structure and dynamics of a fallow land. In: Nadykta, V.D., Ismailov, V.Y., Esipenko, L.P., Kobzar, V.F., Bolakhonenkov, V.E., Volvora, G.V.; Esaulenko, E.A. (eds.): Biological plant protection as a basis for stabilizing agroecosystems. Krasnodar: 103-105.

Ruhnke, H., Brändle, M., Klotz, S., Brandl, R., Schädler, M. (2006): Plant-animal interactions in the canopy - intraspecific variability in herbivory of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.). – In: Unterseher, M. Morawetz, W., Klotz, S., Arndt, F. (eds.): The canopy of a European Floodplain Forest – First Results: 57-63. Leipzig: Universitätsverlag.

Meyer, F., Buschendorf, J., Zuppke, U.; Baumann, F; Schädler, M. & Große, W.R. (2004): Die Lurche und Kriechtiere Sachsen-Anhalts – Verbreitung, Ökologie, Gefährdung und Schutz. Laurenti Verlag, Bielefeld.

Other publications:

Schädler, M., Jansen, S., Schulze, M. (2012): Interessante Heuschreckennachweise (Ensifera, Caelifera) aus Mittel- und Ostdeutschland (Schsen-Anhalt, Thüringen, Sachsen, Brandenburg). - Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte 2012/2: 143-146.

Schädler, M. (2009): Ein weiterer Nachweis von Stenobothrus crassipes (Caelifera: Acrididae) (Charpentier, 1825) in Deutschland. Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte.

Schädler, M. (2004): Barbitistes serricauda (Fabricius, 1798), Laubholzsäbelschrecke. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): Die Geradflügler des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt (Insecta: Dermaptera, Mantodea, Blattoptera, Ensifera, Caelifera). – Berichte des Landesamtes für Umweltschutz Sachsen-Anhalt 5/2004: 80 – 81.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus mollis (Charpentier, 1825), Verkannter Grashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 192 – 193.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus brunneus (Thunberg, 1815), Brauner Grashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 190 – 191.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus biguttulus (Linnaeus, 1758), Nachtigall-Grashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 188 – 189.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus vagans (Eversmann, 1848), Steppengrashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 186 – 187.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus apricarius (Linnaeus, 1758), Feld-Grashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 184 – 185.

Schädler, M. (2004): Chorthippus montanus (Charpentier, 1825), Sumpfgrashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 180 – 181.

Schädler, M. (2004): Stenobothrus crassipes (Charpentier, 1825), Zwerggrashüpfer. In: Wallaschek, M., Langner, T.J., Richter, K. (Hrsg.): siehe oben: 166 – 167.

Ruhnke, H., Brändle, M., Klotz, S.; Brandl, R. & M. Schädler (2004): Palatability of trees to insect herbivores. - Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie.

Schädler, M. & R. Brandl (2004): Effects of litter diversity and invertebrate fauna on decomposition of tree litter. – Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie

Schädler, M. (2004): Schutz der Herpetofauna im besiedelten Bereich. In: . Meyer, F.; Buschendorf, J.; Zuppke, U.; Braumann, F.; Schädler, M. & Grosse, W.-R. (Hrsg.): Die Lurche und Kriechtiere Sachsen-Anhalts - Verbreitung, Ökologie, Gefährdung und Schutz.. Laurenti Verlag, Bielefeld, 221-225.

Schädler, M. (2004): Eingeschleppte Schildkrötenarten. In: . Meyer, F.; Buschendorf, J.; Zuppke, U.; Braumann, F.; Schädler, M. & Grosse, W.-R. (Hrsg.): Die Lurche und Kriechtiere Sachsen-Anhalts - Verbreitung, Ökologie, Gefährdung und Schutz.. Laurenti Verlag, Bielefeld, 194.

Schädler, M. (2004): Blindschleiche – Anguis fragilis. In: . Meyer, F.; Buschendorf, J.; Zuppke, U.; Braumann, F.; Schädler, M. & Grosse, W.-R. (Hrsg.): Die Lurche und Kriechtiere Sachsen-Anhalts - Verbreitung, Ökologie, Gefährdung und Schutz.. Laurenti Verlag, Bielefeld, 160-164.

Schädler, M. (2004): Zauneidechse – Lacerta agilis. In: . Meyer, F.; Buschendorf, J.; Zuppke, U.; Braumann, F.; Schädler, M. & Grosse, W.-R. (Hrsg.): Die Lurche und Kriechtiere Sachsen-Anhalts - Verbreitung, Ökologie, Gefährdung und Schutz.. Laurenti Verlag, Bielefeld, 164-170.

Auge, H.; Kiesel, B.; Lieber, A.; Brandl, R.; Schädler, M.; Scheu, S.; Endlweber, K. & Alphei, J. (2003): Plants between insects and microbes. - Forschen für die Umwelt 4: 20 – 27.

Schädler, M. (2002): Wiederfund der Zweifarbigen Beißschrecke, Metrioptera bicolor (Philippi, 1830), und des Kleinen Heidegrashüpfers, Stenobothrus stigmaticus (Rambur, 1839), in der Oberlausitz. – Abh. Staatl. Mus. Naturkunde Görlitz 74: 95 – 98.

Schädler, M. (2002): Zwei Funde eingeschleppter Heuschreckenarten im Stadtgebiet von Halle. – Entomologische Mitteilungen Sachsen-Anhalt 9: 50 – 51.

Hartenauer, K. & Schädler, M. (2002): Eine Methode zur Markierung von Gehäuseschnecken. – Mitteilungen der Deutschen Malakozoologischen Gesellschaft 68: 45 – 47.

Krumbiegel, A.; Schädler, M.; Schönbrodt, M.; Süßmuth, T. & Meyer, F. (2002): Der Quellbusch bei Zörbig – Naturschutzwert und Entwicklungsperspektiven eines Reliktstandortes in der Fuhneaue des Landkreises Bitterfeld. – Hercynia 35: 65 – 90.

Schädler, M. (2001): Einfluß phytophager Insekten auf die Struktur und Dynamik einer Ackerbrache (Dissertation). – UFZ - Berichte 11/2001: 1 – 111.

Jung, G.; Schädler, M.; Auge, H. & Brandl, R. (2000): Effects of herbivorous insects on secondary plant succession. – Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie 12: 169-172.

Schädler, M. & Stadler, J. (2000): Verbreitung und Lebensraum des Kiesbank-Grashüpfers, Chorthippus pullus (Phillipi, 1830) (Acrididae: Gomphocerinae), in Sachsen. – Articulata 15 (1): 7-15.

Schädler, M. (2000): Heuschrecken . – In: Die Tierwelt im Gebiet des ehemaligen Salzigen Sees. – Naturschutz im Land Sachsen-Anhalt (Sonderheft).

Schulze, M. & Schädler, M. (1999): Interessante Geradflüglerfunde in Sachsen-Anhalt (Dermaptera, Blattoptera, Ensifera, Caelifera). – Entomologische Nachrichten und Berichte 43 (3/4): 228-232.

Schädler, M. (1999): Zur Verbeitung, Bestandssituation und Lebensraum der Blauflügligen Sandschrecke, Sphingonotus caerulans (L.) im Östlichen Harzvorland und der Östlichen Harzabdachung mit Bemerkungen zum taxonomischen Status (Saltatoria: Acrididae: Oedipodinae). – Faunistische Abhandlungen des Staatlichen Museums für Tierkunde Dresden 21 (15): 225-234.

Schädler, M. (1999): Zur Bedeutung von Industrie- und Siedlungsbrachen für die Heuschreckenfauna im urbanen Bereich. – Naturschutz im Land Sachsen-Anhalt 36 (1): 21-32.

Schädler, M. (1998): Habitatnutzung dreier sympatrischer Feldheuschreckenarten (Orthoptera: Gomphocerinae) in einem xerothermen Lebensraummosaik.- Articulata 13 (2): 149-162.

Schädler, M. (1998): Aasfressen und Prädation bei mitteleuropäischen Heuschrecken (Orthoptera).- Articulata 13 (1): 25-28.

Schädler, M. (1998): Die Heuschreckenfauna des bewirtschafteten Auengrünlandes im Biosphärenreservat ”Mittlere Elbe”. - Naturwissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Museums Dessau 10: 169-190.


Book reviews:

Schädler, M. (1997): Day Geckos, by E.M. Rundquist. - Jb. Terr. (Wien) 4: 62-63.

Schädler, M. (1997): The General Care and Maintenance of Day Geckos, by S. McKeown. - Jb. Terr. (Wien) 4: 63-65.