Dr Simone Cesarz

Head of Laboratory
Wer Würmer hat, ist nie allein

Scientific Career


CV for download

Since 2014:
Head of laboratory in the lab of Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Leipzig University, Germany

Head of laboratory in the lab of Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany

PhD at the Georg August University of Goettingen under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefan Scheu and Prof. Dr. Matthias Schaefer.
Title: "Plant species and global change agents as driving factors of rhizosphere processes and soil nematode communities" funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Excellence "Functional Biodiversity Research"

Diploma at the Georg August University of Goettingen under  the supervision of Prof. Dr. Matthias Schaefer: "Untersuchungen zum Einfluss der Baumartendiversität auf die Regenwürmer (Lumbricidae) eines Laubmischwaldes: Zusammensetzung der Gemeinschaft und Effekte der Qualität der Bodenstreu auf die Entwicklung"

Study of Biology at the Georg August University of Goettingen

Research Interests


Soils store twice as much carbon as plants and the atmosphere together thereby forming an important component of the global carbon cycle. However, the way carbon is processed and how carbon dynamics are controlled still is not well understood. Knowledge of controlling factors of the carbon flux from the entry into the soil until its release or sequestration is of significant importance, especially in face of global warming and climate disruption as a consequence of increased atmospheric CO2.

In terrestrial ecosystems, 90% of the annual biomass produced by plants enters the dead organic matter pool forming the basis of the decomposer system in soil. Plant carbon enters the soil via two pathways: dead organic matter (leaf litter and dead roots) and root exudates. Most studies suggest leaf litter quality as main factor explaining physical and chemical properties of soil systems, which in turn influence soil biota as drivers of decomposition processes. Recently, it was shown, that carbon does not enter the soil food web predominantly via litter but also to high amounts via roots. Knowledge on the influence of living roots on decomposition processes in soil is scarce but is needed to understand carbon dynamics in soil. To separate litter- and root-derived carbon I use stable isotope techniques coupled with fatty acid analysis (compound specific fatty acid analysis) to follow carbon and nitrogen flux into bacteria and fungi as well as soil invertebrates.

Moreover, I'm interessted in the effect of plant species on different energy channels (bacteria, fungi and root channel) which can be investigated by the analysis of free living soil nematodes. Nematodes comprise different trophic gropus, such as bacterial feeders, fungal feeders, plant feeders, omnivors and predators. Using this grouping help us to identify energy channels in soil and therefore soil functioning. Information on how carbon dynamics are influenced by plant species and how carbon is channeld through the soil food web are crucial to understand carbon dynamics in soil and will help to predict if soils will function as carbon sources or sinks when facing global change.



PREPRINT Lambrechts JJ, ..., Cesarz S, ... et al (2021) Mismatch between soil and air temperature. https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/pksqw

44. Trogisch S, Liu X, Rutten G, Xue K, Bauhus J, Brose U, Bu W, Cesarz S, Chesters D, Connolly J, Cui X, Eisenhauer N, Guo L, Haider S, Härdtle W, Kunz M, Liu L, Ma Z, Neumann S, Sang W, Schuldt A, Tang Z, van Dam NM, von Oheimb G, Wang M-Q, Wang S, Weinhold A, Wirth C, Wubet T, Xu X, Yang B, Zhang N, Zhu C-D, Ma K, Wang Y, Bruelheide H : The significance of tree-tree interactions for forest ecosystem functioning. Basic and Applied Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2021.02.003

43. Singh J, Eisenhauer N, Schädler M, Cesarz S (2021): Earthworm gut passage reinforces land-use effects on soil microbial communities across climate treatments. Applied Soil Ecology. Accepted.

42. Carlos A. Guerra, Richard D. Bardgett, Lucrezia Caon, Thomas W. Crowther, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Luca Montanarella, Laetitia M. Navarro, Alberto Orgiazzi, Brajesh K. Singh, Leho Tedersoo, Ronald Vargas-Rojas, Maria J. I. Briones, François Buscot, Erin K. Cameron, Simone Cesarz, Antonis Chatzinotas, Don A. Cowan, Ika Djukic, Johan van der Hoogen, Anika Lehmann, Fernando T. Maestre, César Marín, Thomas Reitz, Matthias C. Rillig, Linnea C. Smith, Franciska T. de Vries, Alexandra Weigelt, Diana H. Wall & Nico Eisenhauer (2020): Tracking, targeting, and conserving soil biodiversity - A monitoring and indicator system can inform policy, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.abd7926

41. Kostin J, Cesarz S, Lochner A, Schädler M, Macdonald C, Eisenhauer N (2020): Land-use drives the temporal stability and magnitude of soil microbial functions and modulates climate effects. Ecological Applications. Accepted

40. Guerra CA, Heintz-Buschart A, Sikorski J, Chatzinotas A, Guerrero-Ramírez N, Cesarz S, Beaumelle L, Rillig MC, Maestre FT, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Buscot F, Overmann J, Patoine G, Phillips HRP, Winter M, Wubet T, Küsel K, Bardgett RD, Cameron EK, Cowan D, Grebenc T, Marín C, Orgiazzi A, Singh BK, Wall DH, Eisenhauer N (2020) Blind spots in global soil biodiversity and ecosystem function research. Nature Communications. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17688-2

39. Lembrechts JJ, ..., Cesarz S, ... et al. (2020) SoilTemp: a global database of near-surface temperature. Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15123

PREPRINT Cesarz S, Craven D, Auge H, Bruelheide, H, Castagneyrol B, Hector A, Jactel H, Koricheva J, Messier C, Muys B, O’Brien MJ, Paquette A, Ponette Q, Potvin C, Reich PB, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Smith AR, Verheyen K, Eisenhauer N (2020) Biotic and abiotic drivers of soil microbial functions across tree diversity experiments

38. Heintz-Buschart A, Guerra C, Djukic I, Cesarz S, Chatzinotas A, Patoine G, Sikorski J, Buscot F, Küsel K, Wegner CE, & Eisenhauer N (2020) Microbial diversity-ecosystem function relationships across environmental gradients. Research Ideas and Outcomoes 6: e52217. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.6.e52217

37. Dietrich P, Roeser A, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N, Ebeling A, Schmid B, Schulze ED, Wagg C, Weigelt A, Roscher C (2019) Nematode communities, plant nutrient economy, and life-cycle characteristics jointly determine plant monoculture performance over 12-years: Oikos. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.06989

36. Gottschall F, Davids S, Newiger‐Dous TE,Auge H, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N (2019) Tree species identity determines wood decomposition via microclimatic effects. Ecology and Evolution 9:12113-12127. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5665

35.Cesarz S, Schulz, Annika, Beugnon R, Eisenhauer N (2019) Testing soil nematode extraction efficiency using different variations of the Baermann-funnel method. Soil Organisms 91:61-72. https://doi.org/10.25674/so91201

34. González Macé O, Ebeling A, Eisenhauer N, Cesarz S, Scheu S (2019) Variations in trophic niches of generalist predators with plant community composition as indicated by stable isotopes and fatty acids. Soil Organisms 91:45-59. https://doi.org/10.25674/so91204

33. Thakur MP, Del Real IM, Cesarz S, Steinauer K, Reich PB, Hobbie S, Ciobanu M, Rich R, Worm K, Eisenhauer N (2019) Soil microbial, nematode, and enzymatic responses to elevated CO2, N fertilization, warming, and reduced precipitation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 135:184–193. https://doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.04.020

32. Global mismatches in aboveground and belowground biodiversity (2019) Cameron EK, Martins IS, Lavelle P, Mathieu J, Tedersoo L, Bahram M, Gotschall F, Guerra CA, Hines J, Patoine G, Siebert J, Winter M, Cesarz S, Kreft H, Lovejoy TE, Montanarella L, Orgiazzi A, Pereira HM, Phillips HRP, Settele J, Wall DH, Eisenhauer N. Conervation Biology 33:1187–1192 . https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13311

31. Ciobanu M, Eisenhauer N, Stoica IA, CesarzS (2018) Natura 2000 priority and non-priority habitats do not differ in soil nematode diversity. Applied Soil Ecology 135:166-173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2018.12.009

30. Giling DP, Beaumelle L, Phillips HRP, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N, Ferlian O, Gottschall F, Guerra C, Hines J, Sendek A, Siebert J, Thakur MP, Barnes AD  (2018) A niche for ecosystem multifunctionality in global change research. Global Change Biology 25:763-774. https://doi: 10.1111/gcb.14528

29. Siebert J, Suennemann M, Auge H, Berger S, Cesarz S, Ciobanu M, Guerrero-Ramirez NR, Eisenhauer N (2018) The effects of drought and nutrient addition on soil organisms vary across taxonomic groups, but are constant across seasons, Scientific Reports 9:639. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36777-3

PREPRINTSiebert J, Suennemann M, Auge H, Berger S, Cesarz S, Ciobanu M, Guerrero-Ramirez NR, Eisenhauer N (2018) The effects of drought and nutrient addition on soil organisms vary across taxonomic groups, but are constant across seasons

28. Kuťáková E, Cesarz S, Münzbergová Z, Eisenhauer N (2018) Soil microarthropods alter the outcome of plant-soil feedback experiments. Scientific Reports 8:11898

PREPRINTSchulz AE, Eisenhauer N, Cesarz S (2018) Testing soil nematode extraction efficiency using different variations of the Baermann funnel method

27. Cameron EK, Martins, IS, Lavelle P, Mathieu J, Tedersoo L, Gottschall F, Guerra CA, Hines J, Patoine G, Siebert J, Winter M, Cesarz S, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Ferlian O, Fierer N, Kreft H, Lovejoy TE, Montanarella L, Orgiazzi AS, Pereira HM, Phillips HRP, Settele J, Wall DH, Eisenhauer N (2018) Global gaps in soil biodiversity data. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2:1042-1043. doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0573-8

26. Ferlian O, Cesarz S, Craven D, Hines J, Barry KE, Bruelheide H, Buscot F, Haider S, Heklau H, Herrmann S, Kühn P, Pruschitzki U, Schädler U, Wagg C, Weigelt A, Wubet T, Eisenhauer N (2018) Mycorrhiza in tree diversity-ecosystem function relationships: conceptual framework and experimental implementation. Ecosphere 9:e02226

25. Milcu A, Puga-Freitas R, Ellison AM, Blouin M, Scheu S, Freschet GT, Rose L, Barot S, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N, Girin T, Assandri D, Bonkowski M, Buchmann N, Butenschoen O, Devidal S, Gleixner G, Gessler A, Gigon A, Greiner A, Grignani C, Hansart A, Kayler Z, Lange M, Lata J-C, Le Galliard J-F, Lukac M, Mannerheim N, Müller MEH, Pando A, Rotter P, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Seyhun R, Urban-Mead K, Weigelt A, Zavattaro L, Roy J (2018). Genotypic variability enhances the reproducibility of an ecological study. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:279-287. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0434-x

24. Hines J, Pabst S, Mueller KE, Blumenthal DM, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N (2017) Soil-mediated effects of global change on plants communities depend on plant growth form. Ecosphere 8: 1–15. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1996

23. Dietrich P , Buchmann T , Cesarz S , Eisenhauer N , Roscher C (2017) Fertilization, soil and plant community characteristics determine soil microbial activity in managed temperate grasslands. Plant and Soil 419: 189–199. doi:10.1007/s11104-017-3328-4

22. Cesarz S, Ciobanu M, Wright AJ, Ebeling A, Vogel A, Weisser WW, Eisenhauer N (2017) Plant species richness sustains higher trophic levels of soil nematode communities after consecutive environmental perturbations. Oecologia 184: 715-728. doi 10.1007/s00442-017-3893-5

21. Rughoeft S, Herrmann M, Lazar CS, Cesarz S, Levick S, Trumbore S, Küsel K (2016) Community composition and abundance of nitrifiers and total bacterial and archaeal populations in savanna soils on contrasting bedrock material in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Frontiers in Microbiology 7: 1638. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01638

20.Cesarz S, Craven D, Dietrich C, Eisenhauer N (2016) Effects of soil and leaf litter quality on the biomass of two endogeic earthworm species. European Journal of Soil Biology 77: 9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2016.09.002

19. Mueller K, Blumenthal DM, Carrillo Y, Cesarz S, Ciobanu M, Hines J, Pabst S, Pendall E, de Tomasel CM, Wall D, Eisenhauer N (2016) Elevated CO2 and warming shift the functional composition of soil nematode communities in a semiarid grassland. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 103: 46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.08.005

18. Eisenhauer N, Barnes A, Cesarz S, Craven D, Ferlian O, Gottschall F, Hines J, Sendek A, Siebert J, Thakur M, Türke M (2016) Biodiversity–ecosystem function experiments reveal the mechanisms underlying the consequences of biodiversity change in real world ecosystems. Journal of Vegetation Science 27: 1061-1070. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12435

17. do Couto GM, Eisenhauer N, de Oliveira EB, Cesarz S, Feliciano ALP, Marangon LC (2016) Response of soil microbial biomass and activity in early restored lands in the northeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Restoration Ecology 24: 609-616. doi: 10.1111/rec.12356

16. Wagner D, Eisenhauer N, Cesarz S (2015) Plant species richness does not attenuate responses of soil microbial and nematode communities to a flood event. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 89: 135–149. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.07.001

15. Thakur MP, Herrmann M, Steinauer K, Rennoch S, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N (2015) Cascading effects of belowground predators on plant communities are density-dependent. Ecology and Evolution 19: 4300-4319. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1597

14. Schwarz B, Dietrich C, Cesarz S, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Auge H, Schulz E, Eisenhauer N (2015) Non-significant tree diversity but significant identity effects on earthworm communities in three tree diversity experiments. European Journal of Soil Biology 67: 17-26. doi:10.1016/j.ejsobi.2015.01.001

13. Cesarz S, Reich PB, Scheu S, Ruess L, Schaefer M and Eisenhauer N (2015) Nematode functional guilds, not trophic groups, reflect shifts in soil food webs and processes in response to interacting global change factors. Pedobiologia 58: 23.32. doi:10.1016/j.pedobi.2015.01.001

12. Araújo ASP, Borges CD, Tsai SM, Cesarz S, Eisenhauer N (2014) Soil bacterial diversity in degraded and restored lands of Northeast Brazil. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 106: 891-899. doi:10.1007/s10482-014-0258-5

11. Ferlian O, Cesarz S, Marhan S, Scheu S (2014) Carbon food resources of earthworms of different ecological groups as indicated by 13C compound-specific stable isotope analysis. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 77: 22-30. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.06.002

10. Steinauer K, Tilman D, Wragg PD, Cesarz S, Cowles JM, Pritsch K, Reich PB, Weisser WW, Eisenhauer N (2014) Plant diversity effects on soil microbial functions and enzymes are stronger than warming in a grassland experiment. Ecology 96: 99-112. doi:10.1890/14-0088.1

09. Eisenhauer N, Wirsch D, Cesarz S, Craven D, Dietrich P, Friese J, Helm J, Hines J, Schellenberg M, Scherreiks P, Schwarz B, Uhe C, Wagner K, Steinauer K (2014) Organic textile dye improves the visual assessment of the bait-lamina test. Applied Soil Ecology 82: 78-81. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2014.05.008

08. Thakur MP, Reich P, Fisichelli N, Stefanski A, Cesarz S, Dobies T, Rich R, Hobbie S, Eisenhauer N (2014) Nematode community shifts in response to experimental warming and canopy conditions are associated with plant community changes in the temperate-boreal forest ecotone. Oecologia. 175: 713-723. doi:10.1007/s00442-014-2927-5

07. Araújo ASF, Eisenhauer N, Nunes LAPL, Leite LFC, Cesarz S (2013) Soil surface-active fauna in degraded and restored lands of Northeast Brazil. Land Degradation & Development 26: 1-8. doi:10.1002/ldr.2247

06. Araújo ASF, Cesarz S, Leite LFC, Daniel C, Tsai S, Eisenhauer N (2013) Soil microbial properties and temporal stability in degraded and restored lands of Northeast Brazil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 66: 175-181. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.07.013

05. Eisenhauer N, Dobies T, Cesarz S, Hobbie SE, Meyer RJ, Worm K, Reich PB (2013) Plant diversity effects on soil food webs are stronger than those of elevated CO2 and N deposition in a long-term grassland experiment. PNAS 110: 6889-6894. doi:10.1073/pnas.1217382110

04. Cesarz S, Ruess L, Jacob M, Jacob A, Schaefer M and Scheu S (2013) Tree species diversity versus tree species identity: driving forces in structuring forest food webs as indicated by soil nematodes. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 62: 36-45. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.020

03.Cesarz S, Fender A-C, Beyer F, Valtanen K, Pfeiffer B, Gansert D, Hertel D, Polle A, Daniel R, Leuschner C and Scheu S. (2013) Roots from beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) differentially affect soil microorganisms and carbon dynamics. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 61: 23-32. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.003

02. Eisenhauer N, Cesarz S, Koller R, Worm K and Reich PB (2012) Global change below ground: impacts of elevated CO2, nitrogen and summer drought on soil food webs and biodiversity. Global Change Biology 18: 435-447. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02555.x

01. Cesarz S, Fahrenholz N, Migge-Kleian S, Platner C, Schaefer M (2007) Earthworm communities in relation to tree diversity in a deciduous forest. European Journal of Soil Biology 43: 61-67. doi:10.1016/j.ejsobi.2007.08.003

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