Experimental Plant Ecology

Jonas Schmeddes

PhD Student

Phone: +49 (0)3834 - 4204135

Soldmannstraße 15
Room: 1.31

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Research interests

I am interested in the population dynamics of forest ecosystems and the adaptive potential of trees in the face of changing environmental conditions.

In my PhD-project I am combining dendroecological methods with common garden and reciprocal transplantation experiments to study the phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation of Fagus sylvatica L. (European Beech).

For the core of my research project – the fully reciprocal transplantation experiment – we set up 12 experimental sites inside and outside of the natural distribution range of F. sylvatica, reaching from the dry (Spain, France) to the cold limits (Poland, Sweden) of the species and beyond. At each site we planted over 1000 beech nuts of all different origins to compare their specific reaction on various ambient conditions. Here, my aim is to assess the genetic adaptation and to quantify the phenotypic plasticity of the different F. sylvatica provenances.

Finally, the results could contribute to a better understanding of the spatial distribution and evolutionary adaptation of F. sylvatica. The obtained estimates will ultimately allow for improved projections of future range shifts.


Research Training Group (RTG 2010) “Biological RESPONSEs to Novel and Changing Environments”




Lembrechts, J. J.; van den Hoogen, J.; Aalto […] Schmeddes, J. […] Lenoir, J. Global Maps of Soil Temperature.Global Change Biology2022, 28 (9), 3110–3144. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16060.

Haesen, S., Lembrechts, J. J., De Frenne, P., Lenoir, J., Aalto, J., Ashcroft, M. B., Kopecký, M., Luoto, M., Maclean, I., Nijs, I., Niittynen, P., van den Hoogen, J., Arriga, N., Brůna, J., Buchmann, N., Čiliak, M., Collalti, A., De Lombaerde, E., Descombes, P., Gharun, M., Goded, I., Govaert, S., Greiser, C., Grelle, A., Gruening, C., Hederová, L., Hylander, K., Kreyling, J., Kruijt, B., Macek, M., Máliš, F., Man, M., Manca, M., Matula, R., Meeussen, C., Merinero, S., Minerbi, S., Montagnani, L., Muffler, L., Ogaya, R., Penuelas, J., Plichta, R., Portillo-Estrada, M., Schemeddes, J., Shekhar, A., Spcher, F., Ujházyová M., Vangansbeke, P., Weigel, R., Wild, J., Zellweger, F., Van Meerbeek, K.
ForestTemp – Sub-canopy microclimate temperatures of European forests.
Global Change Biology, 27, 6307– 6319.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15892

Muffler, L, Schmeddes, J, Weigel, R, Barbeta, A., Beil, I., Bolte, A., Buhk, C., Holm, S., Klein, G., Klisz, M., Löf, M., Peñuelas, J., Schneider, L., Vitasse, Y., Kreyling, J.
High plasticity in germination and establishment success in the dominant forest tree Fagus sylvatica across Europe.
Global Ecol Biogeogr. 2021; 00: 1– 14.
doi: 10.1111/geb.13320

Fischer, K., Kreyling, J., Beaulieu, M., Beil, I., Bog, M., Bonte, D., Holm, S., Knoblauch, S., Koch, D., Muffler, L., Mouginot, P., Paulinich, M., Scheepens, J. F., Schiemann, R., Schmeddes, J., Schnittler, M., Uhl, G., van der Maaten-Theunissen, M., Weier, J.M., Wilmking, M., Weigel, R., Gienapp, P. (2020)
Species-specific effects of thermal stress on the expression of genetic variation across a diverse group of plant and animal taxa under experimental conditions.
doi: 10.1038/s41437-020-0338-4

Lembrechts, J.J., [...] Kreyling, J., Schmeddes, J., Teuber, L., [...] (2020)
SoilTemp: a global database of near‐surface temperature.
Glob Change Biol. 00: 1– 14.

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae


since 04/2018: PhD in the Research Training Group RESPONSE at the Department of Experimental Plant Ecology, University Greifswald – Potentials and limits of phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

10/2014 – 03/2018: MSc Landscape and Nature Conservation, University of Greifswald
Master’s thesis: Dendrochronological analysis of different tree species from a tropical dry forest in Guanacaste, NW Costa Rica

09/2015 – 02/2016 : Environmental Planning and Management, University of Bratislava

10/2011 – 09/2014: BSc Geography with emphasis on Landscape Ecology and Development Studies
Bachelor’s thesis: Spatial and seasonal habitat selection of free-ranging European Bison (Bison bonasus) in the Rothaar mountains


Work experience

08/2016 – 03/2018: Research assistant at the Department of Experimental Plant Ecology, University of Greifswald