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




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Dr. Michael Staab

Staab_2019 Michael Staab
phone: +49 (0) 6151 16-75416








since 2019 Habilitant at the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg

2014 - 2020

Lecturer/postdoc at the Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg

2017 - 2018
Junior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies - FRIAS



2011 - 2014

PhD thesis "Effect of tree diversity on plant-insect interactions in a Chinese subtropical forest" supervised by Alexandra-Maria Klein, Thorsten Assmann and Nico Blüthgen (TU Darmstadt)



2011 - 2013

Research assistant, Department of Ecosystem Functions, Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University Lüneburg



2010 - 2011

Research assistant, Zoology III, University of Würzburg



2009 - 2010

Diploma-thesis at the Universities of Würzburg and Konstanz. Topic: “The mating biology of the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri"



2005 - 2010

Study of biology at the University of Würzburg

Field experience:

Argentina, China, Malaysia, Uganda; over 18 month in total





Göttinger Preis Waldökosystemforschung of the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology at the University of Göttingen for excellent research unifying biodiversity research and forest ecology
2017 Horst-Wiehe-Award of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ), for excellent postgraduate research on the Influence of tree diversity on trophic interactions




Maria Sibylla Merian Award of the Society for Tropical Ecology (gtö), for a presentation at the conference in Brussels





  • 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. online first. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2020.09.002.
  • Staab, M., Pereira-Peixoto, M.H. & Klein, A.M. (2020): Exotic garden plants partly substitute for native plants as resources for pollinators when native plants become seasonally scarce. Oecologia, (accepted).
  • Staab, M. & Schuldt, A. (2020): The Influence of Tree Diversity on Natural Enemies—a Review of the “Enemies” Hypothesis in Forests. Current Forestry Reports. online first. doi: 10.1007/s40725-020-00123-6. Link
  • Wang, M.-Q., Li, Y., Chester, D., Bruelheide, H., Ma, K., Guo, P.-F., Zhou, Q.-S., Staab, M., Zhu, C.-D. & Schuldt, A. (2020): Host functional and phylogenetic composition rather than host diversity structure plantherbivore networks. Molecular Ecology 29: 2747-2762. Link
  • Skarbek, C.J., Noack, M., Bruelheide, H., Härdtle, W., von Oheimb, G., Scholten, T., Seitz, S. & Staab, M. (2020): A tale of scale: Plot but not neighbourhood tree diversity increases leaf litter ant diversity. Journal of Animal Ecology 89: 299-308. Link
  • Storch, I., Penner, J., Asbeck, T., Baile, M., Bauhus, J., Braunisch, V., Dormann, C., Frey, J., Gärtner, S., Hanewinkel, M., Koch, B., Klein, A.M., Kuss, T., Pregernig, M., Pyttel, P., Reif, A., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Segelbacher, G., Schraml, U., Staab, M., Winkel, G. & Yousefpour, R. (2020): Evaluating the effectiveness of retention forestry to enhance biodiversity in production forests of Central Europe using an interdisciplinary, multi-scale approach. Ecology and Evolution 10: 1489-1509. Link
  • Bongers, F., Schmid, B., Sun, Z., Li, Y., Härdtle, W., von Oheimb, G., Li, Y., Li, S., Staab, M., Ma, K. & Liu, X. (2020): Growth–trait relationships in subtropical forest are stronger at higher diversity. Journal of Ecology 108: 256-266.  Link



  • Staab, M. (2019): Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, 1894, a globally spreading exotic ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) newly recorded from Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 74: 83-91. Link
  • Von Königslöw, V., Klein, A.M., Staab, M. & Pufal, G. (2019): Benchmarking nesting aids for cavity-nesting bees and wasps. Biodiversity and Conservation 28: 3831-3849. 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
  • Schuldt, A., Ebeling, A., Kunz, M., Staab, M., Guimarães-Steinicke, C., Bachmann, D., Buchmann, N., Durka, W., Fichtner, A., Fornoff, F., Härdtle, W., Hertzog, L., Klein, A.M., Roscher, C., Schaller, J., von Oheimb, G., Weigelt, A., Weisser, W., Wirth, C., Zhang, J., Bruelheide, H. & Eisenhauer, N. (2019): Multiple plant diversity components drive consumer communities across ecosystems. Nature Communications 10: 1460. Link
  • Fornoff, F., Klein, A.M., Blüthgen, N. & Staab, M. (2019): Tree diversity increases robustness of multi-trophic interactions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20182399. Link
  • Pauli, T., Castillo-Cajas, R.F., Rosa, P., Kukowka, S., Berg, A., van den Berghe, E., Fornoff, F., Hopfenmüller, S., Niehuis, M., Peters, R.S., Staab, M., Strumia, F., Tischendorf, S., Schmitt, T. & Niehuis, O. (2019): Phylogenetic analysis of cuckoo wasps (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae) reveals a partially artificial classification at the genus level and a species-rich clade of bee parasitoids. Systematic Entomology 44: 322-355. Link



  • Staab, M., Pufal, G., Tscharntke, T. & Klein, A.M. (2018): Trap nests for bees and wasps to analyse trophic interactions in changing environments - a systematic overview and user guide Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9: 2226-2239. Link
  • Liu, X., Trogisch, S., He, J.S., Niklaus, P.A., Bruelheide, H., Tang, Z., Erfmeier, A., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Pietsch, K.A., Yang, B., Kühn, P., Scholten, T., Huang, Y., Wang, C., Staab, M., Leppert, K., Wirth, C., Schmid, B. & Ma, K. (2018): Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropical forests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285: 20181240. Link
  • Schuldt, A., Assmann, T., Brezzi, M., Buscot, F., Eichenberg, D., Gutknecht, J., Härdtle, W., He, J.S., Klein, A.M., Kühn, P., Liu, X., Ma, K., Niklaus, P.A., Pietsch, K.A., Purahong, W., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Schmid, B., Scholten, T., Staab, M., Tang, Z., Trogisch, S., von Oheimb, G., Wirth, C., Wubet, T., Zhu, C.D. & Bruelheide, H. (2018): Biodiversity across trophic levels drives multifunctionality in highly diverse forests. Nature Communications 9: 2989. Link
  • Binkenstein, J., Klein, A.M., Assmann, T., Buscot, F., Erfmeier, A., Ma, K., Pietsch, K.A., Schmidt, K., Scholten, T., Wubet, T., Bruelheide, H., Schuldt, A. & Staab, M. (2018): Multi-trophic guilds respond differently to changing elevation in a subtropical forest. Ecography 41: 1013-1023. Link
  • Staab, M., Hita Garcia, F., Liu, C., Xu, Z.H. & Economo, E.P. (2018): Systematics of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Proceratiinae) in China - with descriptions of three new species based on micro-CT enhanced next-generation-morphology. ZooKeys 770: 137-192. Link
  • Janssen, A., Hunger, H., Konold, W., Pufal, G. & Staab, M. (2018): Simple pond restoration measures increase dragonfly (Insecta: Odonata) diversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 27: 2311-2328.  Link
  • Cao, H., Klein, A.M., Zhu, C.-D., Staab, M., Durka, W., Fischer, M. & Fornoff, F. (2018): Intra- and interspecific tree diversity promotes multitrophic plant–Hemiptera–ant interactions in a forest diversity experiment. Basic and Applied Ecology 29: 89-97. Link
  • Grossman, J.J., Vanhellemont, M., Barsoum, N., Bauhus, J., Bruelheide, H., Castagneyrol, B., Cavender-Bares, J., Eisenhauer, N., Ferlian, O., Gravel, D., Hector, A., Jactel, H., Kreft, H., Mereu, S., Messier, C., Muys, B., Nock, C., Paquette, A., Parker, J., Perring, M.P., Ponette, Q., Reich, P.B., Schuldt, A., Staab, M., Weih, M., Zemp, D.C., Scherer-Lorenzen, M. & Verheyen, K. (2018): Synthesis and future research directions linking tree diversity to growth, survival, and damage in a global network of tree diversity experiments. Environmental and Experimental Botany 152: 68-89. Link
  • Müller, M., Klein, A.M., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Nock, C.A. & Staab, M. (2018): Tree genetic diversity increases arthropod diversity in willow short rotation coppice. Biomass and Bioenergy 108: 338-344. Link



  • Trogisch, S., [...], Klein, A.M., [...], Staab, M., et al. & Bruelheide H. (2017): Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionalityEcology and Evolution 7: 10652-10674. Link
  • Schuldt, A., Fornoff, F., Bruelheide, H., Klein, A.M. & Staab, M. (2017): Tree species richness attenuates the positive relationship between mutualistic ant-hemipteran interactions and leaf chewer herbivory. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284: 20171489. Link
  • Schuldt, A., Bruelheide, H., Assmann, T., Buscot, F., Erfmeier, A., Klein, A.M., Ma, K., Scholten, T., Staab, M., Wirth, C., Zhang, J. & Wubet, T. (2017): Belowground top-down and aboveground bottom-up effects structure multitrophic communities in a biodiverse forest. Scientific Reports 7: 4222. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04619-3. Link
  • Staab, M., Fornoff, F., Klein, A.M. & Blüthgen, N. (2017): Ants at plant wounds - A little-known trophic interaction with evolutionary implications for ant-plant interactions. American Naturalist 190: 442-450. Link
  • Staab, M., Methorst, J., Peters, J., Blüthgen, N. & Klein, A.M. (2017): Tree diversity and nectar composition affect arthropod visitors on extrafloral nectaries in a diversity experiment. Journal of Plant Ecology 10: 201-212 . Link



  • Wein, A., Bauhus, J., Bilodeau-Gauthier, S., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Nock, C. & Staab, M. (2016): Tree species richness promotes invertebrate herbivory on congeneric native and exotic tree saplings in a young diversity experiment. PLOS ONE 11: 0168751. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168751. Link
  • Staab, M., Bruelheide, H., Durka, W., Michalski, S., Purschke, O., Zhu C.D. & Klein, A.M. (2016): Tree phylogenetic diversity promotes host-parasitoid interactions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283: 20160275. Link
  • Peixoto-Pereira, M.H., Pufal, G., Staab, M., Martins, C.F. & Klein, A.M. (2016): Diversity and specificity of host-natural enemy interactions in an urban-rural interface. Ecological Entomology 41: 241-252. Link



  • Schuldt, A., Wubet, T., Buscot, F., Staab, M., Assmann, T., Böhnke-Kammerlander, M., Both, S., Erfmeier, A., Klein, A.M., Ma, K., Pietsch, K., Schultze, S., Wirth, C., Zhang, J., Zumstein, P. & Bruelheide, H. (2015): Multitrophic diversity in a biodiverse forest is highly nonlinear across spatial scales. Nature Communications 6: 10169. Link
  • Staab, M. (2015): Aenictus hoelldobleri sp. n., a new species of the Aenictus ceylonicus group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from China, with a key to the Chinese members of the group. ZooKeys 516: 137-155. Link
  • Staab, M., Ohl, M., Zhu, C.D. & Klein, A.M. (2015): Observational natural history and morphological taxonomy are indispensable for future challenges in biodiversity and conservation. Communicative and Integrative Biology 8: e992745. doi:10.4161/19420889.2014.992745 Link
  • Schuldt, A. & Staab, M. (2015): Tree species richness strengthens relationships between ants and the functional composition of spider assemblages in a highly diverse forest. Biotropica 47: 339-346. Link
  • Staab, M., Blüthgen, N. & Klein, A.M. (2015): Tree diversity alters the structure of a tri-trophic network in a biodiversity experiment. Oikos 124: 827-834. Link



  • Staab, M., Schuldt, A., Assmann, T., Bruelheide, H. & Klein, A.M. (2014): Ant community structure during forest succession in a subtropical forest in South-East China. Acta Oecologica 61: 32-40. Link
  • Staab, M., Ohl, M., Zhu, CD. & Klein, A.M. (2014): A unique nest-protection strategy in a new species of spider wasp. PLOS ONE 9: e101592. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101592. Link (highlighted in Nature 10.07.2014) Link
  • Staab, M., Schuldt, A., Assmann, T. & Klein, A.M. (2014): Tree diversity promotes predator but not omnivore ants in a subtropical Chinese forest. Ecological Entomology 39: 637-647.  Link
  • Floren, A., Wetzel, W. & Staab, M. (2014): The contribution of canopy species to overall ant diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Myrmecological News 19: 65-74. Link
  • Staab, M. (2014): The first observation of honeydew foraging in army ants since 1933: Aenictus hodgsoni Forel, 1901 tending Eutrichosiphum heterotrichum (Raychaudhuri, 1956) in Southeast China. Asian Myrmecology 6: 115-118.  Link
  • Staab, M. (2014): A new species of the Aenictus wroughtonii group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from South-East China. ZooKeys 391: 65-73. Link
  • Staab, M. & Kleineidam, C.J. (2014): Initiation of swarming behavior and synchronization of mating flights in the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri. FOREL, 1893 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 19: 93-102. Link



  • Menzel, F., Staab, M., Chung, A.Y., Gebauer, G. & Blüthgen, N. (2012): Trophic ecology of parabiotic ants: Do the partners have similar food niches? Austral Ecology 37: 537-546.  Link


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