Prof. Tiffany Marie Knight

Alexander-von-Humboldt-Professorin und Forschungsgruppenleiterin; iDiv-Speaker



Biological invasions are considered one of the largest threats to biodiversity, and research on the causes of invasions has exploded in the past two decades.  Despite over 1,000 publications in the field of invasion biology, Ecologists have still not reached consensus on which mechanisms cause some non-native species to dominate and alter community structure and ecosystems functions, while other non-native species fail to do so.  At sDiv, I will examine how spatial scale, multivariate functional traits and phylogenetic relationships between non-native plants and resident communities influence invasiveness. To accomplish this, I will use databases containing spatially-explicit information on plant communities, phylogenies and functional traits.  Fortunately, databases of local plant communities are becoming widely available, functional trait databases such as the TRY initiative provide unprecedented availability of plant traits, and genomic data for developing community-level phylogenies are available in GenBank.



A. Bogdan, S. C. Levin, R. Salguero-Gómez, T. M. Knight

(2021): Demographic analysis of an Israeli Carpobrotus population. PLOS ONE

A. C. Westerband, T. M. Knight, K. E. Barton   

(2021): Intraspecific trait variation and reversals of trait strategies across key climate gradients in native Hawaiian plants and non-native invaders. Annals of Botany 127(4)

A. Compagnoni, E. Pardini, T. M. Knight

(2021): Increasing temperature threatens an already endangered coastal dune plant. Ecosphere 12(3)

A. Compagnoni, S. Levin, D. Z. Childs, S. Harpole, M. Paniw, G. Römer, J. H. Burns, J. Che-Castaldo, N. Rüger, G. Kunstler, J. M. Bennett, C. R. Archer, O. R. Jones, R. Salguero-Gómez, T. M. Knight

(2021): Herbaceous perennial plants with short generation time have stronger responses to climate anomalies than those with longer generation time. Nature Communications 12(1) *

E. Arlé, A. Zizka, P. Keil, M. Winter, F. Essl, T. Knight, P. Weigelt, M. Jiménez-Muñoz, C. Meyer

(2021): bRacatus: A method to estimate the accuracy and biogeographical status of georeferenced biological data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution

G. Keppel, D. Craven, P. Weigelt, S. A. Smith, M. T. van der Sande, B. Sandel, S. C. Levin, H. Kreft, T. M. Knight   

(2021): Synthesizing tree biodiversity data to understand global patterns and processes of vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science

L. Korell, H. Auge, J. M. Chase, W. S. Harpole, T. M. Knight

(2021): Responses of plant diversity to precipitation change are strongest at local spatial scales and in drylands. Nature Communications 12(1) *

M. Paniw, T. D. James, C. Ruth Archer, G. Römer, S. Levin, A. Compagnoni, J. Che-Castaldo, J. M. Bennett, A. Mooney, D. Z. Childs, A. Ozgul, O. R. Jones, J. H. Burns, A. P. Beckerman, A. Patwary, N. Sanchez-Gassen, T. M. Knight, R. Salguero-Gómez

(2021): The myriad of complex demographic responses of terrestrial mammals to climate change and gaps of knowledge: A global analysis. Journal of Animal Ecology 90(6)

M. R. Wohlwend, D. Craven, P. Weigelt, H. Seebens, M. Winter, H. Kreft, D. Zurell, J. Sarmento Cabral, F. Essl, M. van Kleunen, J. Pergl, P. Pyšek, T. M. Knight

(2021): Anthropogenic and environmental drivers shape diversity of naturalized plants across the Pacific. Diversity and Distributions (in press) *

S. C. Levin, D. Z. Childs, A. Compagnoni, S. Evers, T. M. Knight, R. Salguero-Gómez

(2021): ipmr: Flexible implementation of Integral Projection Models in R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution

U. V. Neeraja, S. Rajendrakumar, C. S. Saneesh, V. Dyda, T. M. Knight

(2021): Fire alters diversity, composition, and structure of dry tropical forests in the Eastern Ghats. Ecology and Evolution

Ashman, T. L., Arceo-Gomez, G., Bennett, J. M., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Is heterospecific pollen receipt the missing link in understanding pollen limitation of plant reproduction?. American Journal of Botany (in press)

Barton, K. E., Jones, C., Edwards, K. F., Shiels, A. B., Knight, T

(2020): Local adaptation constrains drought tolerance in a tropical foundation tree. Journal of Ecology (in press)

Bennett, J. M., Steets, J. A., Burns, J. H., Burkle, L. A., Vamosi, J. C., Wolowski, M., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Durka, W., Ellis, A. G., Freitas, L., Li, J., Rodger, J. G., Ştefan, V., Xia, J., Knight, T. M., Ashman, T.-L.

(2020): Land use and pollinator dependency drives global patterns of pollen limitation in the Anthropocene. Nature Communications 11(1) *

Blowes, S. A., Chase, J. M., Di Franco, A., Frid, O., Gotelli, N. J., Guidetti, P., Knight, T. M., May, F., McGlinn, D. J., Micheli, F., Sala, E., Belmaker, J.

(2020): Mediterranean marine protected areas have higher biodiversity via increased evenness, not abundance. Journal of Applied Ecology (in press) *

CaraDonna, P. J., L. A. Burkle, B. Schwarz, J. Resasco, T. M. Knight, G. Benadi, N. Blüthgen, C. F. Dormann, Q. Fang, J. Fründ, B. Gauzens, C. N. Kaiser-Bunbury, R. Winfree, D. P. Vázquez

(2020): Seeing through the static: the temporal dimension of plant–animal mutualistic interactions. Ecology Letters 24(1) *

Chase, J. M., Blowes, S. A., Knight, T. M., Gerstner, K., May, F.

(2020): Ecosystem decay exacerbates biodiversity loss with habitat loss. Nature 584(7820) *

Che-Castaldo, J., Jones, O. R., Kendall, B. E., Burns, J. H., Childs, D. Z., Ezard, T. H. G., Hernandez-Yanez, H., Hodgson, D. J., Jongejans, E., Knight, T. et al.

(2020): Comments to "Persistent problems in the construction of matrix population models". Ecological Modelling 416

Dunker, S., Motivans, E., Rakosy, D., Boho, D., Mäder, P., Hornick, T., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Pollen analysis using multispectral imaging flow cytometry and deep learning. New Phytologist (in press) *

Koch, V., L. Zoller, J. M. Bennett, T. M. Knight

(2020): Pollinator dependence but no pollen limitation for eight plants occurring north of the Arctic Circle. Ecology and Evolution 10(24) *

Korell, L., Auge, H., Chase, J. M., Harpole, W. S., Knight, T. M.

(2020): We need more realistic climate change experiments for understanding ecosystems of the future. Global Change Biology 26(2), 325-327 *

L. Zoller, J. M. Bennett, T. M. Knight   

(2020): Diel-scale temporal dynamics in the abundance and composition of pollinators in the Arctic summer. Scientific Reports 10(1) *

Levin, S. C., Crandall, R. M., Pokoski, T., Stein, C., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Phylogenetic and functional distinctiveness explain alien plant population responses to competition. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287(1930)

McGlinn, D. J., T. Engel, S. A. Blowes, N. J. Gotelli, T. M. Knight, B. J. McGill, N. J. Sanders, J. M. Chase

(2020): A multiscale framework for disentangling the roles of evenness, density, and aggregation on diversity gradients. Ecology (in press) *

Schmidt, R., Auge, H., Deising, H. B., Hensen, I., Mangan, S. A., Schadler, M., Stein, C., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Abundance, origin, and phylogeny of plants do not predict community-level patterns of pathogen diversity and infection. Ecology and Evolution (in press) *

Schwarz, B., Vázquez, D. P., CaraDonna, P. J., Knight, T. M., Benadi, G., Dormann, C. F., Gauzens, B.,Motivans, E., Resasco, J., Blüthgen, N., Burkle, L. A., Fang, Q., Kaiser–Bunbury, C. N., Alarcón, R., Bain, J. A., Chacoff, N. P., Huang, S. Q., LeBuhn, G., MacLeod, M., Petanidou, T., Rasmussen, C., Simanonok, M. P., Thompson, A. H., Fründ, J.

(2020): Temporal scale-dependence of plant–pollinator networks. Oikos 129(9) *

Slabbert, E. L., Schweiger, O., Wubet, T., Kautzner, A., Baessler, C., Auge, H., Roscher, C., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Scale-dependent impact of land management on above- and belowground biodiversity. Ecology and Evolution (in press)

Vitt, P., Havens, K., Jolls, C. L., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Temporal variation in the roles of exotic and native plant species in plant–pollinator networks. Ecosphere 11(2)

Zizka, A., Silvestro, D., Vitt, P., Knight, T. M.

(2020): Automated conservation assessment of the orchid family with deep learning. Conservation Biology (in press) *

Arceo-Gómez, G., A. Schroeder, C. Albor, T.-L. Ashman, T. M. Knight, J. M. Bennett, B. Suarez, V. Parra-Tabla

(2019): Global geographic patterns of heterospecific pollen receipt help uncover potential ecological and evolutionary impacts across plant communities worldwide. Scientific Reports 9(1)

Bernardo, H. L., Goad, R., Vitt, P., Knight, T. M.

(2019): Nonadditive effects among threats on rare plant species. Conservation Biology (in press)

Bernardo, H. L., P. Vitt, R. Goad, S. Masi, T. M. Knight

(2019): Using Long-Term Population Monitoring Data to Prioritize Conservation Action among Rare Plant Species. Natural Areas Journal 39(2), 169-181

Burns, J. H., J. M. Bennett, ..., T. M. Knight, J. A. Steets

(2019): Plant traits moderate pollen limitation of introduced and native plants: a phylogenetic meta-analysis of global scale. New Phytologist

Craven, D., T. M. Knight, K. E. Barton, L. Bialic-Murphy,  J. M. Chase

(2019): Dissecting macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns of forest biodiversity across the Hawaiian archipelago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(33), 16436-16441 *

Fill, J. M., Pearson, E., Knight, T. M., Crandall, R. M.

(2019): An invasive legume increases perennial grass biomass: An indirect pathway for plant community change. PLOS ONE 14(1), e0211295

Havens, K., Jolls, C. L., Knight, T. M., Vitt, P.

(2019): Risks and Rewards: Assessing the Effectiveness and Safety of Classical Invasive Plant Biocontrol by Arthropods. BioScience 69(4), 247-58

Havens, K., Jolls, C. L., Knight, T. M., Vitt, P.

(2019): We Should Know whether a Tool Works (and How Dangerous It Is) before We Use It: Response to Hinz and Colleagues. BioScience 69(11), 854-855

Korell, L., Auge, H., Chase, J. M., Harpole, W. S., Knight, T. M.

(2019): Understanding plant communities of the future requires filling knowledge gaps. Global Change Biology 26(2), 328-329 *

Levin, S. C., Crandall, R. M., Knight, T. M.

(2019): Population projection models for 14 alien plant species in the presence and absence of above-ground competition. Ecology 100(6)

McGlinn, D. J., Xiao, X., May, F., Gotelli, N. J., Engel, T., Blowes, S. A., Knight, T. M., Purschke, O., Chase, J. M., McGill, B. J.

(2019): Measurement of Biodiversity (MoB): A method to separate the scale-dependent effects of species abundance distribution, density, and aggregation on diversity change. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10(2), 258-69

Sandel, B., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., Keppel, G., van der Sande, M. T., Levin, S., Smith, S., Craven, D., Knight, T. M

(2019): Current climate, isolation and history drive global patterns of tree phylogenetic endemism. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29(1), 4-15

van der Sande, M. T., Bruelheide, H., ..., Haider, S., ..., Purschke, O., Pyšek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., ..., Jandt, U., ..., Kattge, J., Kearsley, E., Klotz, S., ..., Knight, T. M.

(2019): Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29(2), 281-294

Westerband, A. C., Kagawa-Viviani, A. K., Bogner, K. K., Beilman, D. W., Knight, T. M., Barton, K. E.

(2019): Seedling drought tolerance and functional traits vary in response to the timing of water availability in a keystone Hawaiian tree species. Plant Ecology 220(3), 321-44

Wohlwend, M. R., M. R. Schutzenhofer, T. M. Knight

(2019): Long-term experiment manipulating community assembly results in favorable restoration outcomes for invaded prairies. Restoration Ecology (in press) *

Bennett, J. M., Steets, J. A., Durka, W., Vamosi, J. C., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Burkle, L. A., Ellis, A. G., Freitas, L., Li, J., Rodger, J. G., Wolowski, M., Xia, J., Ashman, T. L., Knight, T. M.

(2018): GloPL, a global data base on pollen limitation of plant reproduction. Scientific Data 5(180249)

Bennett, J. M., Thompson, A., Goia, I., Feldmann, R., Ştefan, V., Bogdan, A., Rakosy, D., Beloiu, M., Biro, I.-B., Bluemel, S., Filip, M., Madaj, A.-M., Martin, A., Passonneau, S., Kalisch, D. P., Scherer, G., Knight, T. M.

(2018): A review of European studies on pollination networks and pollen limitation, and a case study designed to fill in a gap. AoB PLANTS 10(6), ply068

Bernardo, H. L., Vitt, P., Goad, R., Masi, S., Knight, T. M.

(2018): Count population viability analysis finds that interacting local and regional threats affect the viability of a rare plant. Ecological Indicators 93, 822-29

Chase, J. M., McGill, B. J., McGlinn, D. J., May, F., Blowes, S. A., Xiao, X., Knight, T. M., Purschke, O., Gotelli, N. J.

(2018): Embracing scale-dependence to achieve a deeper understanding of biodiversity and its change across communities. Ecology Letters 21(11), 1737-51

Craven, D., Knight, T. M., Barton, K. E., Bialic-Murphy, L., Cordell, S., Giardina, C. P., Gillespie, T. W., Ostertag, R., Sack, L., Chase, J. M.

(2018): OpenNahele: the open Hawaiian forest plot database. Biodiversity Data Journal 6(e28406)

Knight, T. M., Ashman, T.-L., Bennett, J. M., Burns, J. H., Passonneau, S., Steets, J. A.

(2018): Reflections on, and visions for, the changing field of pollination ecology. Ecology Letters 21(8), 1282-95

Pardini, E. A., Parsons, L. S., Stefan, V., Knight, T. M.

(2018): GLMM BACI environmental impact analysis shows coastal dune restoration reduces seed predation on an endangered plant. Restoration Ecology 26(6), 1190-94

Thompson, A. H., Knight, T. M.

(2018): Exotic plant species receive adequate pollinator service despite variable integration into plant–pollinator networks. Oecologia 187(1), 135-42

Crawford, K. M., Knight, T. M.

(2017): Competition overwhelms the positive plant–soil feedback generated by an invasive plant. Oecologia 183(1), 211-20

Pardini, E. A., Patten, M. V., Knight, T. M.

(2017): Effects of seed density and proximity to refuge habitat on seed predation rates for a rare and a common Lupinus species. American Journal of Botany 104(3), 389-98

Schuler, M. S., Chase, J. M., Knight, T. M.

(2017): Habitat patch size alters the importance of dispersal for species diversity in an experimental freshwater community. Ecology and Evolution 7(15), 5774-83

Schuler, M. S., Chase, J. M., Knight, T. M.

(2017): Habitat size modulates the influence of heterogeneity on species richness patterns in a model zooplankton community. Ecology 98(6), 1651-59

Vitt, P., Knight, T. M., Schutzenhofer, M., Kleiman, W., Havens, K., Bittner, T.

(2017): Experimental Grazing and Grass-Specific Herbicide Application Benefit Rare Forb Recruitment. Natural Areas Journal 37(2), 161-69

Bernardo, H. L., Albrecht, M. A., Knight, T. M.

(2016): Increased drought frequency alters the optimal management strategy of an endangered plant. Biological Conservation 203, 243-51

Guthrie, S. G., Crandall, R. M., Knight, T. M.

(2016): Fire indirectly benefits fitness in two invasive species. Biological Invasions 18(5), 1265-73

Crandall, R., Knight, T. M.

(2015): Positive frequency dependence undermines the success of restoration using historical disturbance regimes. Ecology Letters 18(9), 883-91

S. M. Evers,T. M. Knight, D. W. Inouye, T. E. X. Miller, R. Salguero-Gómez, A. M. Iler, A. Compagnoni

(): Lagged and dormant season climate better predict plant vital rates than climate during the growing season. Global Change Biology 27(9) *
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Puschstraße 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9739146
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Alexander von Humboldt Professur

Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung – UFZ

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