Experimental Plant Ecology

Niels Preuk

Soldmannstraße 15

D-17489 Greifswald

Room: 1.03

Phone: +49 3834 - 420 4193

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My Phd project is part of the DFG-funded Research training group “Biological RESPONSEs to Novel and Changing Environments”. In the RESPONSE project A6, I investigate effects of climate change on species persistence and species distribution of European beech (F. sylvatica) with a special interest in the role of genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.

The first part of my research will be the identification of spatial patterns in phenotypic responses of F. sylvatica to varying environmental conditions. Based on already existing provenance trial data, I aim to find patterns of ecotypic variations, which originate from phenotypic reactions of provenances to various climatic conditions at the trial sites. This will provide a better understanding of the role of climate for intraspecific variation. The second part of my research will focus on modelling the species distribution of European beech. Two different approaches will be used. The first approach will aim for the integration of intraspecific variation into species distribution models to improve the prediction under future climate scenarios. For this approach I will make use of the results of the first part of my project as well as existing spatial genetic information of European beech to account for local adaptation in the models. The second approach will use existing data on phenotypic plasticity, heritability, and local adaptation to constrain hybrid species distribution models to get a better understanding of the species potential under climate change scenarios.

My current research interests focus on forest ecosystems, climate change, species distribution modelling and trait-based approaches. Based on previous work, I am also interested in reasons and effects of biological invasions as well as community biology.


Haider, S., Lembrechts, J. J., McDougall, K., Pauchard, A., Alexander, J. M., Barros, A., Cavieres, L. A., Rashid, I., Rew, L. J., Aleksanyan, A., Arévalo, J. R., Aschero, V., Chisholm, C., Clark, V. R., Clavel, J., Daehler, C., Dar, P. A., Dietz, H., Dimarco, R. D., ... Preuk, N., … Seipel, T. (2022). Think globally, measure locally: The MIREN standardized protocol for monitoring plant species distributions along elevation gradients. Ecology and Evolution, 12, e8590. doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8590