Department Head: 

Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein
phone:+49 (0)761 203-67770



Mrs. Ilona Winkler
phone:+49 (0)761 203-3635
fax:+49 (0)761 203-3638


Chair of Nature Conservation
& Landscape Ecology
University of Freiburg
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D-79106 Freiburg




Sie sind hier: Startseite Team Dr. Anna Katharina Knuff

Dr. Anna Katharina Knuff

 Knuff_Anna_2016Anna Katharina Knuff
phone: +49 (0)761 203 -3630
Room No. 03089



As I am a scientist with many interests, I have already worked in quite different systems such as meadow orchards, agricultural land and forests. All of these projects may contribute to our knowledge on a more sustainable land use. As an ecologist, I am particularly interested in the many interactions between plants and insects and in how these interactions are shaped by management. To understand the role(-s) of insects in ecosystems better, I do not only focus on entomology but I also consider its interface with botany (and ornithology).

In my dissertation, I asked how forest structure and insect abundance are related. Forest structure, such as tree species composition or deadwood volume, are controlled by forestry practices. In the graduate school ConFoBi (Conservation of Forest Biodiversity), we have investigated in a multidisciplinary team the effects of more “close-to-nature” forest management on biodiversity. I showed that the studied insect taxa are correlated with various structural elements (subproject (B3)). Thus, forest management influences insects in multiple ways. The understorey vegetation structure seems to be crucial. A well-developed understorey may provide many resources, mostly food, for insects. On top of that, specialized plant-insect interactions are not shaped by plant species richness per se but species identities may be more important.

Since 2020, I study the value of wildflower fields for flower-visiting insects in agricultural landscapes (FAKT - Förderprogramm für Agrarumwelt, Klimaschutz und Tierwohl. Mixtures with annual wildflowers provide nectar and pollen for wild bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Perennial mixtures may additionally provide habitats for hibernation. In my current project I will investigate whether annual and perennial mixtures have different effects on flower-visiting insects (FAKT - Flower-mixtures).  




since 2020Postdoc at the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg
2016 - 2020
PhDd student within the ConFoBi-Research Group (Thesis: "Insect communities along a structural complexity gradient in temperate multiple-use forests") at the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg
2015Master Thesis at the University of Bayreuth: „Comparative study on susceptibility and suitability of three Malus species to the herbivores Anthonomus pomorum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera)"
2012 - 2015Master´s degree „Biodiversity and Ecology“ at the University of Bayreuth
2009 - 2012Bachelor´s degree „Biology“ at the University of Erlangen




  • Knuff, A., Staab, M., Frey, J., Dorman, C.F., Asbeck, T. & Klein, A.M. (2020): Insect abundance in managed forests benefits from multi-layered vegetation. Basic and Applied Ecology 48: 124-135. Link
  • Augustynczik, A.L.D., Asbeck, T., Basile, M., Jonker, M., Knuff, A., Yousefpour, R. & Hanewinkel, M. (2020): Reconciling forest profitability and biodiversity conservation under disturbance risk: the role of forest management and salvage logging. Environmental Research Letters. 15: 0940a3. Link
  • Basile, M., Asbeck, T., Jonker, M., Knuff, A., Bauhus, J., Braunisch, V., Mikusiński, G. & Storch, I. (2020): What do tree-related microhabitats tell us about the abundance of forest-dwelling bats, birds, and insects? Journal of Environmental Management 264: 110401. Link
  • Gustafsson, L., Bauhus, J., [...] Knuff, A., et al. & Storch, I. (2020): Retention as an integrated biodiversity conservation approach for continuous-cover forestry in Europe. Ambio 49: 85-97. Link
  • Knuff, A., Winiger, N., Klein, A.M., Segelbacher, G. & Staab, M. (2019): Optimising sampling of flying insects using a modified window trap. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10: 1820-1825. Link
  • Knuff, A., Staab, M., Frey, J., Helbach, J. & Klein, A.M. (2019): Plant composition, not richness, drives occurrence of specialist herbivores. Ecological Entomology 44: 833-843. Link
  • Knuff, A. K., Obermaier, E. & Mody,  K. (2017): Differential susceptibility and suitability of domestic and wild apple species for a florivorous weevil and its parasitoids. Journal of Applied Entomology 141: 285-299. Link
  • Schlumprecht, H., Knuff, A., Scherfose, V. (2015): Vorschläge zur Gliederung und zu Inhalten von Nationalparkplänen. BfN-Skripten 425. 




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