Dr. Francesco Maria Sabatini

Post-Doktorand und Koordinator (sPlot)

Research Interests


Who lives with whom and why?

This question is at the core of my research interests. In other words, what are the processes and determinants underlying the distribution of biodiversity? As coordinator of sPlot – the Global Vegetation Database, I can address this question at unprecedented spatial scales. On the ground, though, my favourite study system are old-growth and virgin forests. Not only I cherish old-growth forests for their wild nature, but they are also ideal reference systems for understanding baselines and processes related to natural disturbance regimes, forest dynamics, tree demography, and carbon cycling, and how these processes are modified by forest management.

Find more on my research blog: FORESTS&CO

Curriculum Vitae


  • Since 2018
    Post-Doc at 1) Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Institute of Biology. Geobotanic Lab. 2) German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
  • 2015–2017
    Marie Skłodowska-Curie Post-Doc fellow at Conservation Biogeography Lab. Dept of Geography. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Germany.
  • 2014–2015
    Postdoctoreal Researcher, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy). Cofunded by LIFE+11 (NAT/IT/135) project FAGUS – Forests of the Apennines: Good practices to conjugate Use and Sustainability
  • 2014
    Visiting Scholar at Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic)
  • 2010–2014
    PhD, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy)
  • 2013
    Visiting PhD Student at University of Turku (Finland)
  • 2010
    Visiting Scholar at University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA)
  • 2009
    Part-time Scientific and technical adviser. Società Botanica Italiana ONLUS (Italy)
  • 2007–2009
    M.Sc. – Environmental Sciences. Faculty of mathematical, physical, and natural sciences. Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy)

Selected Publications


A full list of my publications can be found on my research blog: FORESTS&CO. You can also find me on googleScholar and ResearchGate.



Bruelheide, H., Jimenez-Alfaro, B., Jandt, U., Sabatini, F. M.

(2020): Deriving site-specific species pools from large databases. Ecography *

Bruelheide, H., Dengler, J., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Purschke, O., Hennekens, S. M., Chytrý, M., Pillar, V. D., Jansen, F., Kattge, J., Sandel, B., Aubin, I., Biurrun, I., Field, R., Haider, S., Jandt, U., Lenoir, J., Peet, R. K., Peyre, G., Sabatini, F. M., Schmidt, M., Schrodt, F., Winter, M., ..., Kühl, H., Kühn, I., ..., Sop, T., ..., Virtanen, R., von Wehrden, H., Wagner, V., Walker, D. A., Wana, D., Weiher, E., Wesche, K., et al.

(2019): sPlot – a new tool for global vegetation analyses. Journal of Vegetation Science 30(2), 161-86

Sabatini, F. M., de Andrade, R. B., Paillet, Y., Ódor, P., Bouget, C., Campagnaro, T., Gosselin, F., Janssen, P., Mattioli, W., Nascimbene, J., Sitzia, T., Kuemmerle, T., Burrascano, S.

(2019): Trade-offs between carbon stocks and biodiversity in European temperate forests. Global Change Biology 25(2), 536-48

Bruelheide, H., Dengler, J., Purschke, O., Lenoir, J., Jimenez-Alfaro, B., Hennekens, S. M., Botta-Dukat, Z., Chytry, M., Field, R., Jansen, F., Kattge, J., Pillar, V. D., Schrodt, F., Mahecha, M. D., Peet, R. K., Sandel, B., van Bodegom, P., Altman, J., Alvarez-Davila, E., Khan, M., Attorre, F., Aubin, I., Baraloto, C., Barroso, J. G., Bauters, M., Bergmeier, E., Biurrun, I., Bjorkman, A. D., Blonder, B., Carni, A., Cayuela, L., Cerny, T., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Craven, D., Dainese, M., Derroire, G., De Sanctis, M., Diaz, S., Dolezal, J., Farfan-Rios, W., Feldpausch, T. R., Fenton, N. J., Garnier, E., Guerin, G. R., Gutierrez, A. G., Haider, S., Hattab, T., Henry, G., Herault, B., Higuchi, P., Holzel, N., Homeier, J., Jentsch, A., Jurgens, N., Kacki, Z., Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Kleyer, M., Knollova, I., Korolyuk, A. Y., Kühn, I., Laughlin, D. C., Lens, F., Loos, J., Louault, F., Lyubenova, M. I., Malhi, Y., Marceno, C., Mencuccini, M., Muller, J. V., Munzinger, J., Myers-Smith, I. H., Neill, D. A., Niinemets, U., Orwin, K. H., Ozinga, W. A., Penuelas, J., Perez-Haase, A., Petrik, P., Phillips, O. L., Partel, M., Reich, P. B., Römermann, C., Rodrigues, A. V., Sabatini, F. M., Sardans, J., Schmidt, M., Seidler, G., Espejo, J. E. S., Silveira, M., Smyth, A., Sporbert, M., Svenning, J. C., Tang, Z. Y., Thomas, R., Tsiripidis, I., Vassilev, K., Violle, C., Virtanen, R., Weiher, E., Welk, E., Wesche, K., Winter, M., Wirth, C., Jandt, U.

(2018): Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(12), 1906-17

Sabatini, F. M., Burrascano, S., Keeton, W. S., Levers, C., Lindner, M., Potzschner, F., Verkerk, P. J., Bauhus, J., Buchwald, E., Chaskovsky, O., et al.

(2018): Where are Europe's last primary forests?. Diversity and Distributions 24(10), 1426-39
Icon address

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Biologie / Geobotanik und Botanischer Garten
Kirchtor 1
06108 Halle (Saale)

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+49 345 5526199
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Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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