Prof Ulrich Brose

Head of Research Group

Research interest


I study how environmental factors change the structure and diversity of species communities with knock-on effects on the dynamic stability and ecosystem functioning. I describe the structure of communities by complex food-web topologies (who eats whom) and the average body sizes of all species. I am interested in the responses of these structures to global and local environmental gradients in temperature, stoichiometry and habitat fragmentation. Mathematically, I analyze how these structural responses drive the dynamic stability of populations, communities and ecosystem functions.

Short CV


Since 2015
Professor Biodiversity Theory, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Resarch (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

2010 - 2015
Heisenberg Professor for Systemic Conservation Biology, J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

2009 - 2010
Temporary Professorship at the Technische Universität Darmstadt

2004 - 2009
Head of the Emmy-Noether Group “Complex Ecological Networks” at the Technische Universität Darmstadt

2001 - 2004
Postdoc (Leopoldina Fellowship) at the San Francisco State University, USA

1997 - 2001
PhD-Thesis, Department of Biology at the University of Potsdam

1993 - 1997
Study of Biology at the University of Hamburg

1990 - 1993
Study of Biology at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University Frankfurt

Selected Publications


For an up-to-date list of publications, see my ResearcherID.

Barnes, A.D., Jochum, M., Mumme, S., Haneda, N.F., Farajallah, A., Widarto, T.H. & Brose, U. (2014): Consequences of tropical land use for multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Nature Communications, 5: 5351; doi: 10.1038/ncomms6351.

article online

Ott, D., Digel, C., Rall, B.C., Maraun, M., Scheu, S. & Brose, U. (2014): Unifying elemental stoichiometry and metabolic theory in predicting species abundances. Ecology Letters, 17(10): 1247-1256; doi: 10.1111/ele.12330.

article online

Fussmann, K.E., Schwarzmüller, F., Brose, U., Jousset, A. & Rall, B.C. (2014): Ecological stability responses to warming. Nature Climate Change, 4: 206-210; doi: 10.1038/nclimate2134.

article online

Kalinkat, G., Schneider, F.D., Digel, C., Guill, C., Rall, B.C. & Brose, U. (2013): Body masses, functional responses and predator-prey stability. Ecology Letters 16: 1126–1134; doi: 10.1111/ele.12147.

article online

Schneider, F. D., Scheu, S. & Brose, U. (2012): Body mass constraints on feeding rates determine the consequences of predator loss. Ecology Letters 15: 436-443; doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01750.x.

article online


Brose, U., Dunne, J.A., Montoya, J.M., Petchey, O.L., Schneider, F.D. & Jacob, U. (2012): Climate change in size-structured ecosystems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367(1605): 2903-2912; doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0232.

article online

Riede, J., Brose, U., Ebenman, B., Jacob, U., Thompson, R., Townsend, C.R., & Jonsson, T. (2011): Stepping in Elton's footprints: a general scaling model for body masses and trophic levels across ecosystems. Ecology Letters 14: 169-178; doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01568.x.

article online

Berlow, E.L., Dunne, J.A., Martinez, N.D., Stark, P.B., Williams, R.J. & Brose, U. (2009): Simple prediction of interaction strengths in complex food webs. PNAS 106: 187-191; doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806823106.

article online

Otto, S., Rall, B.C., & Brose, U. (2007): Allometric degree distributions facilitate food web stability. Nature 450: 1226-1229; doi: 10.1038/nature06359.

article online

Brose, U., Ostling, A., Harrison, K. & Martinez, N.D. (2004): Unified spatial scaling of species and their trophic interactions. Nature 428: 167-171.

article online

iDiv publications


Potapov, A. M., Dupérré, N., Jochum, M., Dreczko, K., Klarner, B., Barnes, A. D., Krashevska, V., Rembold, K., Kreft, H., Brose, U., Widyastuti, R., Harms, D., Scheu, S.

(2020):Functional losses in ground spider communities due to habitat-structure degradation under tropical land-use change.Ecology (in press) *

Brose, U., P. Archambault, A. D. Barnes, L.-F. Bersier, T. Boy, ..., C. Digel, A. Dissanayake, A. A. V. Flores, K. Fussmann, B. Gauzens, C. Gray, J. Häussler, M. R. Hirt, U. Jacob, ..., E. Latz, K. Layer-Dobra, P. Legagneux, Y. Li, ..., B. C. Rall, B. Rosenbaum, R. Ryser, A. Silva, E. H. Sohlström, ..., S. Wang, J. M. Wefer, ..., A. C. Iles

(2019):Predator traits determine food-web architecture across ecosystems.Nature ecology & evolution 3(6), 919-927 *

Eisenhauer, N., ..., A. D. Barnes, K. Barry, A. Bonn, U. Brose, H. Bruelheide, ..., F. Buscot, ..., O. Ferlian, ..., D. P. Giling, ..., H. Hillebrand, J. Hines, ..., B. König-Ries, ..., C. Roscher, ..., M. Türke, N. M. van Dam, F. van der Plas, A. Vogel, ..., A. Weigelt, ..., C. Wirth,  M. Jochum

(2019):A multitrophic perspective on biodiversity–ecosystem functioning research. In: Nico Eisenhauer, David A. Bohan, Alex J. Dumbrell (Eds.) Mechanisms underlying the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function Advances in Ecological Research, p. 1-54 *

Gauzens, B., Barnes, A., Giling, D. P., Hines, J., Jochum, M., Lefcheck, J. S., Rosenbaum, B., Wang, S. P., Brose, U.

(2019):fluxweb: An R package to easily estimate energy fluxes in food webs.Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10(2), 270-79

Hines, J., Ebeling, A., Barnes, A. D., Brose, U., Scherber, C., Scheu, S., Tscharntke, T., Weisser, W. W., Giling, D. P., Klein, A. M., Eisenhauer, N.

(2019):Chapter Nine - Mapping change in biodiversity and ecosystem function research: food webs foster integration of experiments and science policy. In: Eisenhauer, Nico Bohan, David A. Dumbrell, Alex J. (Eds.) Advances in Ecological Research Academic Press, p. 297-322 *

Marx, J. M., B. C. Rall, H. R. P. Phillips, U. Brose

(2019):Opening the black box of plant nutrient uptake under warming predicts global patterns in community biomass and biological carbon storage.Oikos (in press) *

Pennekamp, F., Iles, A., Garland, J., Brennan, G., Brose, U., Gaedke, U., Jacob, U., Kratina, P., Matthews, B., Munch, S., Novak, M., Palamara, G. M., Rall, B., Rosenbaum, B., et al.

(2019):The intrinsic predictability of ecological time series and its potential to guide forecasting.Ecological Monographs 89(2)

Phillips, H. R. P., Guerra, C. A., ..., Ferlian, O., ..., Krebs, J., ..., Bennett, J., Brose, U., Decaëns, T., König-Ries, B., ..., Eisenhauer, N.

(2019):Global distribution of earthworm diversity.Science 366(6464), 480-485 *

Potapov, A., U. Brose, S. Scheu,  A. Tiunov

(2019):Trophic Position of Consumers and Size Structure of Food Webs across Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems.The American Naturalist (in press) *

Quevreux, P., Brose, U.

(2019):Metabolic adjustment enhances food web stability.Oikos 128(1), 54-63

Ryser, R., Häussler, J., Stark, M., Brose, U., Rall, B. C., Guill, C.

(2019):The biggest losers: habitat isolation deconstructs complex food webs from top to bottom.Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286 *

Thakur, M. P., Phillips, H. R. P., Brose, U., ..., Bennett, J. M., Briones, M. J. I., Brown, G., Decaëns, T., Eisenhauer, N., Ferlian, O., Guerra, C. A., König-Ries, B. et al.

(2019):Towards an integrative understanding of soil biodiversity.Biological Reviews (in press) *

Wang, S., Brose, U., Gravel, D.

(2019):Intraguild predation enhances biodiversity and functioning in complex food webs.Ecology 100(3), e02576

Barnes, A. D., Jochum, M., Lefcheck, J. S., Eisenhauer, N., Scherber, C., O’Connor, M. I., de Ruiter, P., Brose, U.

(2018):Energy Flux: The Link between Multitrophic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning.Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33(3), 186-97

Hirt, M. R., Grimm, V., Li, Y., Rall, B. C., Rosenbaum, B., Brose, U.

(2018):Bridging Scales: Allometric Random Walks Link Movement and Biodiversity Research.Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33(9), 701-12

Sohlstrom, E. H., Marian, L., Barnes, A. D., Haneda, N. F., Scheu, S., Rall, B. C., Brose, U., Jochum, M.

(2018):Applying generalized allometric regressions to predict live body mass of tropical and temperate arthropods.Ecology and Evolution 8(24), 12737-49

Wang, S., Brose, U.

(2018):Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in food webs: the vertical diversity hypothesis.Ecology Letters 21(1), 9-20

Barnes, A. D., Allen, K., Kreft, H., Corre, M. D., Jochum, M., Veldkamp, E., Clough, Y., Daniel, R., Darras, K., Denmead, L. H., Haneda, N. F., Hertel, D., Knohl, A., Kotowska, M. M., Kurniawan, S., Meijide, A., Rembold, K., Prabowo, W. E., Schneider, D., Tscharntke, T., Brose, U.

(2017):Direct and cascading impacts of tropical land-use change on multi-trophic biodiversity.Nature Ecology & Evolution 1(10), 1511-19

Brose, U., Blanchard, J. L., Eklöf, A., Galiana, N., Hartvig, M., Hirt, M. R., Kalinkat, G., Nordström, M. C., O'Gorman, E. J., Rall, B. C., et al.

(2017):Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches.Biological Reviews 92(2), 684-97

Delmas, E., Brose, U., Gravel, D., Stouffer, D. B., Poisot, T.

(2017):Simulations of biomass dynamics in community food webs.Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8(7), 881-86

Fussmann, K. E., Rosenbaum, B., Brose, U., Rall, B. C.

(2017):Interactive effects of shifting body size and feeding adaptation drive interaction strengths of protist predators under warming.bioRxiv 101675

Hirt, M. R., Jetz, W., Rall, B. C., Brose, U.

(2017):A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest.Nature Ecology & Evolution 1(8), 1116-22

Hirt, M. R., Lauermann, T., Brose, U., Noldus, L. P. J. J., Dell, A. I.

(2017):The little things that run: a general scaling of invertebrate exploratory speed with body mass.Ecology 98(11), 2751-57

Jochum, M., Barnes, A. D., Ott, D., Lang, B., Klarner, B., Farajallah, A., Scheu, S., Brose, U.

(2017):Decreasing Stoichiometric Resource Quality Drives Compensatory Feeding across Trophic Levels in Tropical Litter Invertebrate Communities.The American Naturalist 190(1), 131-43

Jochum, M., Barnes, A. D., Weigelt, P., Ott, D., Rembold, K., Farajallah, A., Brose, U.

(2017):Resource stoichiometry and availability modulate species richness and biomass of tropical litter macro-invertebrates.Journal of Animal Ecology 86(5), 1114-23

Lang, B., Ehnes, R. B., Brose, U., Rall, B. C.

(2017):Temperature and consumer type dependencies of energy flows in natural communities.Oikos 126(12), 1717-25

Li, Y., Brose, U., Meyer, K., Rall, B. C.

(2017):How patch size and refuge availability change interaction strength and population dynamics: a combined individual- and population-based modeling experiment.PeerJ 5(e2993)

Liao, J., Bearup, D., Wang, Y., Nijs, I., Bonte, D., Li, Y., Brose, U., Wang, S., Blasius, B.

(2017):Robustness of metacommunities with omnivory to habitat destruction: Disentangling patch fragmentation from patch loss.Ecology 98(6), 1631-39

Schwarz, B., Barnes, A. D., Thakur, M. P., Brose, U., Ciobanu, M., Reich, P. B., Rich, R. L., Rosenbaum, B., Stefanski, A., Eisenhauer, N.

(2017):Warming alters energetic structure and function but not resilience of soil food webs.Nature Climate Change 7(12), 895-900

Barnes, A. D., Weigelt, P., Jochum, M., Ott, D., Hodapp, D., Haneda, N. F., Brose, U.

(2016):Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystems.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 371(1694)

Binzer, A., Guill, C., Rall, B. C., Brose, U.

(2016):Interactive effects of warming, eutrophication and size-structure: impacts on biodiversity and food-web structure.Global Change Biology 22(1), 220-227

Brose, U., Hillebrand, H.

(2016):Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371(1694)

Clough, Y., Krishna, V. V., Corre, M. D., Darras, K., Denmead, L. H., Meijide, A., Moser, S., Musshoff, O., Steinebach, S., Veldkamp, E., Allen, K., Barnes, A. D., Breidenbach, N., Brose, U., et al.

(2016):Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapes.Nature Communications 7(13137)

Schneider, F. D., Brose, U., Rall, B. C., Guill, C.

(2016):Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs.Nature Communications 7(12718)

Teuscher, M., Gérard, A., Brose, U., Buchori, D., Clough, Y., Ehbrecht, M., Hölscher, D., Irawan, B., Sundawati, L., Wollni, M., Kreft, H.

(2016):Experimental Biodiversity Enrichment in Oil-Palm-Dominated Landscapes in Indonesia.Frontiers in Plant Science 7(1538)

Barnes, A. D., Spey, I.-K., Rohde, L., Brose, U., Dell, A. I.

(2015):Individual behaviour mediates effects of warming on movement across a fragmented landscape.Functional Ecology 29(12), 1543-1552

Kalinkat, G., Jochum, M., Brose, U., Dell, A. I.

(2015):Body size and the behavioral ecology of insects: linking individuals to ecological communities.Current Opinion in Insect Science 9, 24-30

Mumme, S., Jochum, M., Brose, U., Haneda, N. F., Barnes, A. D.

(2015):Functional diversity and stability of litter-invertebrate communities following land-use change in Sumatra, Indonesia.Biological Conservation 191, 750-58

Schwarzmueller, F., Eisenhauer, N., Brose, U.

(2015):'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment.Journal of Animal Ecology 84(3), 680-91
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Friedrich Schiller University Jena

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