Dr. Sebastian T. Meyer
Chair for Terrestrial Ecology
Department of Ecology and Ecosystemmanagement
Technische Universität München
|2011-||present||Post-doc TU Munich|
|2009-||2011||Post-doc Friedrich Schiller University Jena|
|2008-||2009||Post-doc University of Kaiserslautern|
|2008||Doctoral degree (summa cum laude) University of Kaiserslautern|
|2004-||2008||Doctoral project “Ecosystem engineering in fragmented forests: Edge-mediated hyper-abundance of leaf-cutting ants and resulting impacts on forest structure, microclimate, and regeneration” University of Kaiserslautern and University of Recife, Brazil|
|2004||Diploma Biology University of Kaiserslautern|
|2003-||2004||Diploma project “Herbivory and Drought Stress - Interactive effects of plant stress and feeding by leaf-cutting ants” University of Kaiserslautern|
|2003||Research internship “Drought resistance of tropical tree seedling” (DAAD Fellowship) Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI); Panama|
|2002-||2003||Research assistant in Case-study on the radioactive contamination of wild boars. Forschungsanstalt für Waldökologie und Forstwirtschaft, Trippstadt, Germany|
|2001-||2004||Studying Biology University of Kaiserslautern|
|2000-||2001||Studying Biochemisty, Molecular Biology and Genetics University of Wales, College Cardiff; UK|
|2000||Vordiplom Biology Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz|
My research focuses on the question how species rich ecosystems differ from species poor systems in their properties and functioning. I am especially interested in plant animal interactions and try to understand the reciprocal effects between herbivores, their natural enemies, and plant diversity. More applied aspects of my research investigate how these interactions, and ecosystem functions in general, are altered by human activities like forest fragmentation, land-use, and species introductions.
The Jena Experiment (www.the-jena-experiment.de)
As synthesis post-doc of one of the largest Biodiversity Experiments, I analyze how plant diversity changes functions and properties ranging from abiotic conditions to species interactions, from above- to belowground, and from plants to top predators. These analyses are based on a large pool of data collected during the last 12 years by members of the research unit. In addition, I measure rates of herbivory and predation investigating their relationship to plant diversity and plant traits. These measurements are currently conducted within the doctoral thesis of Lionel Hertzog.
Rapid measurements of ecosystem functions
Quantifying ecosystem functioning is important for both fundamental and applied ecological research. However, there is currently a gap between the data available and the data needed to address topical questions, such as the drivers of functioning in different ecosystems under global change or the best management to sustain provisioning of ecosystem functions and services. To close the identified ecosystem functioning data gap, I research low-tech, easy to use, repeatable, and cost efficient methods than can be used to measure proxies of ecosystem functions. The collection of these methods for of important ecosystem functions I named Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA). Using REFA enables standardized and comparable measurements of proxies for ecosystem functions on a large scale within and across studies. A review introducing REFA has been published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
Degradation of South Brazilian grasslands
Natural grasslands in south Brazil have at a large scale been converted into tree plantations or agricultural land or been severely degraded. This project, which is a cooperation between the groups for restoration ecology and terrestrial ecology at TUM, investigates the biotic composition and the ability to perform ecosystem functions at grassland sites spanning a degradation gradient. In addition, the potential of these sites for ecological restoration and suitable techniques are assessed.
The invasive plant species Tansy and Goldenrod in a cross-continent competition experiment
While Goldenrod is invasive in Europe and hypothesized to suppress native Tansy, Tansy is invasive in North America, potentially replacing Goldenrod. This doctorate project by Nafiseh Nahdavi investigates in cooperation with Ray Callaway (University of Montana) the competitive interactions between the two plants in field experiments on both continents and additional greenhouse experiments. A focus of the project is the role played by herbivores for the competitive outcome in native and introduced ranges.
Meyer, S. T., L. Heuss, H. Feldhaar, W. W. Weisser and M. M. Gossner. 2019. Land-use components, abundance of predatory arthropods, and vegetation height affect predation rates in grasslands. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 270:84-92.
Zytynska, S. E. and S. T. Meyer. 2019. Effects of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes on the protective microbiome of insects - a review. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. In press.
Craven, D., N. Eisenhauer, W. D. Pearse, Y. Hautier, F. Isbell, C. Roscher, M. Bahn, C. Beierkuhnlein, G. Bönisch, N. Buchmann, C. Byun, J. A. Catford, B. E. L. Cerabolini, J. H. C. Cornelissen, J. M. Craine, E. De Luca, A. Ebeling, J. N. Griffin, A. Hector, J. Hines, A. Jentsch, J. Kattge, J. Kreyling, V. Lanta, N. Lemoine, S. T. Meyer, V. Minden, V. Onipchenko, H. W. Polley, P. B. Reich, J. Van Ruijven, B. Schamp, M. D. Smith, N. A. Soudzilovskaia, D. Tilman, A. Weigelt, B. Wilsey and P. Manning. 2018. Multiple facets of biodiversity drive the diversity–stability relationship. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:1579-1587. PDF
Ebeling, A., J. Hines, L. R. Hertzog, M. Lange, S. T. Meyer, N. K. Simons and W. W. Weisser. 2018. Plant diversity effects on arthropods and arthropod-dependent ecosystem functions in a biodiversity experiment. Basic and Applied Ecology 26:50-63. PDF
Ebeling, A., M. Rzanny, M. Lange, N. Eisenhauer, L. R. Hertzog, S. T. Meyer and W. W. Weisser. 2018. Plant diversity induces shifts in the functional structure and diversity across trophic levels. Oikos 127:208-219 . PDF
Meyer, S. T., N. Eisenhauer, M. Jochum and W. W. Weisser. 2018. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning in a grassland experiment (Jena) and implications for management. Fermoy, Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, 816-818.
Meyer, S. T., R. Ptacnik, H. Hillebrand, H. Bessler, N. Buchmann, A. Ebeling, N. Eisenhauer, C. Engels, M. Fischer, S. Halle, A.-M. Klein, Y. Oelmann, C. Roscher, T. Rottstock, C. Scherber, S. Scheu, B. Schmid, E.-D. Schulze, V. M. Temperton, T. Tscharntke, W. Voigt, A. Weigelt, W. Wilcke and W. W. Weisser. 2018. Biodiversity–multifunctionality relationships depend on identity and number of measured functions. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:44-49. PDF
Egorov, E., M. M. Gossner, S. T. Meyer, W. W. Weisser and M. Brändle. 2017. Does plant phylogenetic diversity increase invertebrate herbivory in managed grasslands? Basic and Applied Ecology 20:40-50.
Hertzog, L. R., A. Ebeling, W. W. Weisser and S. T. Meyer. 2017. Plant diversity increases predation by ground-dwelling invertebrate predators. Ecosphere 8:e01990. PDF
Husemann, M., R. Rogers, S. Meyer and J. C. Habel. 2017. “Publicationism” and scientists’ satisfaction depend on gender, career stage and the wider academic system. Palgrave Communications 3:17032. PDF
Leidinger, J., M. M. Gossner, W. W. Weisser, C. Koch, Z. L. R. Cayllahua, L. R. Podgaiski, M. M. Duarte, A. S. F. d. Araújo, J. Hermann, J. Kollman and S. T. Meyer. 2017. Historic and recent land use affects ecosystem functions in subtropical grasslands in southern Brazil. Ecosphere 8:e02032. PDF
Meyer, S. T., L. Scheithe, L. Hertzog, A. Ebeling, C. Wagg, C. Roscher and W. W. Weisser. 2017. Consistent increase in herbivory along two experimental plant diversity gradients over multiple years. Ecosphere 8:e01876. PDF
Weisser, W. W., C. Roscher, S. Meyer, A. Ebeling, G. Luo, E. Allan, H. Beßler, R. Barnard, N. Buchmann, F. Buscot, C. Engels, C. Fischer, M. Fischer, A. Gessler, G. Gleixner, S. Halle, A. Hildebrandt, H. Hillebrand, H. d. Kroon, M. Lange, S. Leimer, X. L. Roux, A. Milcu, L. Mommer, P. Niklaus, Y. Oelmann, R. Proulx, J. Roy, C. Scherber, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, S. Scheu, T. Tscharntke, M. Wachendorf, C. Wagg, A. Weigelt, W. Wilcke, C. Wirth, E.-D. Schulze, B. Schmid and N. Eisenhauer. 2017. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in a 15-year grassland experiment: patterns, mechanisms, and open questions. Basic and Applied Ecology 23:1-73. PDF
Craven, D., F. Isbell, P. Manning, J. Connolly, H. Bruelheide, A. Ebeling, C. Roscher, J. Van Ruijven, A. Weigelt, B. Wilsey, C. Beierkuhnlein, E. De Luca, J. N. Griffin, Y. Hautier, A. Hector, A. Jentsch, J. Kreyling, V. Lanta, M. Loreau, S. T. Meyer, A. S. Mori, S. Naeem, C. Palmborg, H. W. Polley, P. B. Reich, B. Schmid, A. Siebenkäs, E. Seabloom, M. P. Thakur, D. Tilman, A. Vogel and N. Eisenhauer. 2016. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 371:20150277. PDF
Hertzog, L. R., A. Ebeling, S. T. Meyer, N. Eisenhauer, C. Fischer, A. Hildebrandt, C. Wagg and W. W. Weisser. 2016. High Survival of Lasius niger during Summer Flooding in a European Grassland. PLoS ONE 11:e0152777. PDF
Hertzog, L. R., S. T. Meyer, W. W. Weisser and A. Ebeling. 2016. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity. PLoS ONE 11:e0148768. PDF
Koch, C., T. Conradi, M. M. Gossner, J. M. Hermann, J. Leidinger, S. T. Meyer, G. E. Overbeck, W. W. Weisser and J. Kollmann. 2016. Management intensity and temporary conversion to other land-use types affect plant diversity and species composition of subtropical grasslands in southern Brazil. Applied Vegetation Science 19:589-599.
Lefcheck, J. S., S. J. Brandl, P. L. Reynolds, A. R. Smyth and S. T. Meyer. 2016. Extending Rapid Ecosystem Fuction Assessments to Marine Ecosystems: A Reply to Meyer. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 331:251-253. PDF
Meyer, S. T., A. Ebeling, N. Eisenhauer, L. Hertzog, H. Hillebrand, A. Milcu, S. Pompe, M. Abbas, H. Bessler, N. Buchmann, E. De Luca, C. Engels, M. Fischer, G. Gleixner, A. Hudewenz, A.-M. Klein, H. De Kroon, S. Leimer, H. Loranger, L. Mommer, Y. Oelmann, J. M. Ravenek, C. Roscher, T. Rottstock, C. Scherber, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, S. Scheu, B. Schmid, E.-D. Schulze, A. Staudler, T. Strecker, V. Temperton, T. Tscharntke, A. Vogel, W. Voigt, A. Weigelt, W. Wilcke and W. W. Weisser. 2016. Effects of biodiversity strengthen over time as ecosystem functioning declines at low and increases at high biodiversity. Ecosphere 7:e01619. PDF
Schroeder-Georgi, T., C. Wirth, K. Nadrowski, S. T. Meyer, L. Mommer and A. Weigelt. 2016. From pots to plots: Hierarchical trait-based prediction of plant performance in a mesic grassland. Journal of Ecology 104:206-218. PDF
Zytynska, S. E., S. T. Meyer, S. Sturm, W. Ullmann, M. Mehrparvar and W. W. Weisser. 2016. Secondary bacterial symbiont community in aphids responds to plant diversity. Oecologia 180:735-747. PDF
Isbell, F., D. Craven, J. Connolly, M. Loreau, B. Schmid, C. Beierkuhnlein, T. M. Bezemer, C. Bonin, H. Bruelheide, E. De Luca, A. Ebeling, J. N. Griffin, Q. Guo, Y. Hautier, A. Hector, A. Jentsch, J. Kreyling, V. Lanta, P. Manning, S. T. Meyer, A. S. Mori, S. Naeem, P. A. Niklaus, H. W. Polley, P. B. Reich, C. Roscher, E. W. Seabloom, M. D. Smith, M. P. Thakur, D. Tilman, B. F. Tracy, W. H. Van Der Putten, J. Van Ruijven, A. Weigelt, W. W. Weisser, B. Wilsey and N. Eisenhauer. 2015. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes. Nature 526:574-577. Link to Nature
Meyer, S. T., C. Koch and W. W. Weisser. 2015. Towards a standardized Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA). Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30:390-397. PDF
Overbeck, G. E., E. Vélez-Martin, F. R. Scarano, T. M. Lewinsohn, C. R. Fonseca, S. T. Meyer, S. C. Müller, P. Ceotto, L. Dadalt, G. Durigan, G. Ganade, M. M. Gossner, D. L. Guadagnin, K. Lorenzen, C. M. Jacobi, W. W. Weisser and V. D. Pillar. 2015. Conservation in Brazil needs to include non-forest ecosystems. Diversity and Distributions 21:1455-1460. PDF
Stephan, J. G., R. Wirth, I. R. Leal and S. T. Meyer. 2015. Spatially Heterogeneous Nest-Clearing Behavior Coincides with Rain Event in the Leaf-Cutting Ant Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Neotropical Entomology 44:123-128. PDF
Ebeling, A., S. T. Meyer, M. Abbas, N. Eisenhauer, H. Hillebrand, M. Lange, C. Scherber, A. Vogel, A. Weigelt and W. W. Weisser. 2014. Plant Diversity Impacts Decomposition and Herbivory via Changes in Aboveground Arthropods. PLoS ONE 9:e106529. PDF
Gossner, M. M., W. W. Weisser, and S. T. Meyer. 2014. Invertebrate herbivory decreases along a gradient of increasing land-use intensity in German grasslands. Basic and Applied Ecology 15:347-352. PDF
Loranger, H., W. Weisser, A. Ebeling, T. Eggers, E. De Luca, J. Loranger, C. Roscher, and S. Meyer. 2014. Invertebrate herbivory increases along an experimental gradient of grassland plant diversity. Oecologia 174:183-193. PDF
Mahdavi-Arab, N., S. T. Meyer, M. Mehrparvar and W. W. Weisser. 2014. Complex Effects of Fertilization on Plant and Herbivore Performance in the Presence of a Plant Competitor and Activated Carbon. PLoS ONE 9:e103731. PDF
Turcotte, M. M., C. J. M. Thomsen, G. T. Broadhead, P. V. A. Fine, R. M. Godfrey, G. P. A. Lamarre, S. T. Meyer, L. A. Richards, and M. T. J. Johnson. 2014. Percentage leaf herbivory across vascular plant species. Ecology 95:788-788. PDF
Allan, E., W. Weisser, M. Fischer, E.-D. Schulze, A. Weigelt, C. Roscher, J. Baade, R. Barnard, H. Beßler, N. Buchmann, A. Ebeling, N. Eisenhauer, C. Engels, A. F. Fergus, G. Gleixner, M. Gubsch, S. Halle, A. Klein, I. Kertscher, A. Kuu, M. Lange, X. Roux, S. Meyer, V. Migunova, A. Milcu, P. Niklaus, Y. Oelmann, E. Pašali?, J. Petermann, F. Poly, T. Rottstock, A. W. Sabais, C. Scherber, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, S. Scheu, S. Steinbeiss, G. Schwichtenberg, V. Temperton, T. Tscharntke, W. Voigt, W. Wilcke, C. Wirth, and B. Schmid. 2013. A comparison of the strength of biodiversity effects across multiple functions. Oecologia 173:223-237. PDF
Habel, J. C., M. M. Gossner, S. T. Meyer, H. Eggermont, L. Lens, J. Dengler, and W. W. Weisser. 2013. Mind the gaps when using science to address conservation concerns. Biodiversity and Conservation 22:2413-2427. PDF
Loranger, J., S. T. Meyer, B. Shipley, J. Kattge, H. Loranger, C. Roscher, C. Wirth, and W. W. Weisser. 2013. Predicting invertebrate herbivory from plant traits: polycultures show strong non-additive effects. Ecology 94:1499-1509. PDF
Meyer, S. T., M. Neubauer, E. J. Sayer, I. R. Leal, M. Tabarelli, and R. Wirth. 2013. Leaf-cutting ants as ecosystem engineers: topsoil and litter perturbations around Atta cephalotes nests reduce nutrient availability. Ecological Entomology 38:497-504. PDF
Milcu, A., E. Allan, C. Roscher, T. Jenkins, S. T. Meyer, D. F. B. Flynn, H. Bessler, F. Buscot, C. Engels, M. Gubsch, S. König, A. Lipowsky, J. Loranger, C. Renker, C. Scherber, B. Schmid, E. Thébault, T. Wubet, W. W. Weisser, S. Scheu, and N. Eisenhauer. 2013. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota. Ecology 94:1878–1885. PDF
Overbeck, G. E., J.-M. Hermann, B. O. Andrade, I. I. Boldrini, K. Kiehl, A. Kirmer, C. Koch, J. Kollmann, S. T. Meyer, S. C. Müller, C. Nabinger, G. Pilger, J. P. P. Trindade, E. Vélez, E. Walker, D. G. Zimmermann, and V. D. Pillar. 2013. Restoration ecology in Brazil – time to step out of the forest; Ecologia de restauração no Brasil – mais do que plantar árvores? Sociedade & Natureza 11:92-95. PDF
Loranger, J., S. T. Meyer, B. Shipley, J. Kattge, H. Loranger, C. Roscher, and W. W. Weisser. 2012. Predicting invertebrate herbivory from plant traits: evidence from 51 grassland species in experimental monocultures. Ecology 93:2674-2682. PDF
Ribeiro Neto, J. D., B. X. Pinho, S. T. Meyer, R. Wirth, and I. R. Leal. 2012. Drought stress drives intraspecific choice of food plants by Atta leaf-cutting ants. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 144:209-215. PDF
Dohm, C., I. R. Leal, M. Tabarelli, S. T. Meyer, and R. Wirth. 2011. Leaf-cutting ants proliferate in the Amazon: an expected response to forest edge? Journal of Tropical Ecology 27:645-649. PDF
Meyer, S. T., I. R. Leal, M. Tabarelli, and R. Wirth. 2011. Ecosystem engineering by leaf-cutting ants: nests of Atta cephalotes drastically alter forest structure and microclimate. Ecological Entomology 36:14-24. PDF
Meyer, S. T., I. R. Leal, M. Tabarelli, and R. Wirth. 2011. Performance and fate of tree seedlings on and around nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta cephalotes: Ecological filters in a fragmented forest. Austral Ecology 36:779-790. PDF
Meyer, S. T., I. R. Leal, and R. Wirth. 2009. Persisting hyper-abundance of leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp.) at the edge of an old Atlantic Forest fragment. Biotropica 41:711-716. PDF
Meyer, S. T. 2008. Ecosystem engineering in fragmented forests - Edge-mediated hyper-abundance of leaf-cutting ants and resulting impacts on forest structure, microclimate and regeneration. Doctoral Thesis. University of Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany. PDF
Wirth, R., S. T. Meyer, I. R. Leal, and M. Tabarelli. 2008. Plant-herbivore interactions at the forest edge. Progress in Botany 69:423-448. PDF
Wirth, R., S. T. Meyer, W. R. Almeida, M. V. Araújo Jr., V. S. Barbosa, and I. R. Leal. 2007. Increasing densities of leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp.) with proximity to the edge in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23:501-505. PDF
Meyer, S. T., F. Roces, and R. Wirth. 2006. Selecting the drought stressed: effects of plant stress on intraspecific and within-plant herbivory patterns of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica. Functional Ecology 20:973-981. PDF