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.

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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.

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

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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


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

Predator traits determine food-web architecture across ecosystemsNature ecology & evolution3(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

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.

fluxweb: An R package to easily estimate energy fluxes in food websMethods in Ecology and Evolution10(2), 270-79

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

Opening the black box of plant nutrient uptake under warming predicts global patterns in community biomass and biological carbon storageOikos(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.

The intrinsic predictability of ecological time series and its potential to guide forecastingEcological Monographs89(2),

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

Trophic Position of Consumers and Size Structure of Food Webs across Aquatic and Terrestrial EcosystemsThe American Naturalist(in press),

Quevreux, P., Brose, U.

Metabolic adjustment enhances food web stabilityOikos128(1), 54-63

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

Intraguild predation enhances biodiversity and functioning in complex food websEcology100(3), e02576

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

Energy Flux: The Link between Multitrophic Biodiversity and Ecosystem FunctioningTrends in Ecology & Evolution33(3), 186-97

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

Bridging Scales: Allometric Random Walks Link Movement and Biodiversity ResearchTrends in Ecology & Evolution33(9), 701-12

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

Applying generalized allometric regressions to predict live body mass of tropical and temperate arthropodsEcology and Evolution8(24), 12737-49

Wang, S., Brose, U.

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in food webs: the vertical diversity hypothesisEcology Letters21(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.

Direct and cascading impacts of tropical land-use change on multi-trophic biodiversityNature Ecology & Evolution1(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.

Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approachesBiological Reviews92(2), 684-97

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

Simulations of biomass dynamics in community food websMethods in Ecology and Evolution8(7), 881-86

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

Interactive effects of shifting body size and feeding adaptation drive interaction strengths of protist predators under warmingbioRxiv101675,

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

A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastestNature Ecology & Evolution1(8), 1116-22

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

The little things that run: a general scaling of invertebrate exploratory speed with body massEcology98(11), 2751-57

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

Decreasing Stoichiometric Resource Quality Drives Compensatory Feeding across Trophic Levels in Tropical Litter Invertebrate CommunitiesThe American Naturalist190(1), 131-43

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

Resource stoichiometry and availability modulate species richness and biomass of tropical litter macro-invertebratesJournal of Animal Ecology86(5), 1114-23

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

Temperature and consumer type dependencies of energy flows in natural communitiesOikos126(12), 1717-25

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

How patch size and refuge availability change interaction strength and population dynamics: a combined individual- and population-based modeling experimentPeerJ5(e2993),

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

Robustness of metacommunities with omnivory to habitat destruction: Disentangling patch fragmentation from patch lossEcology98(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.

Warming alters energetic structure and function but not resilience of soil food websNature Climate Change7(12), 895-900

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

Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystemsPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences371(1694),

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

Interactive effects of warming, eutrophication and size-structure: impacts on biodiversity and food-web structureGlobal Change Biology22(1), 220-227

Brose, U., Hillebrand, H.

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapesPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B371(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.

Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapesNature Communications7(13137),

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

Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food websNature Communications7(12718),

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

Experimental Biodiversity Enrichment in Oil-Palm-Dominated Landscapes in IndonesiaFrontiers in Plant Science7(1538),

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

Individual behaviour mediates effects of warming on movement across a fragmented landscapeFunctional Ecology29(12), 1543-1552

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

Body size and the behavioral ecology of insects: linking individuals to ecological communitiesCurrent Opinion in Insect Science9, 24-30

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

Functional diversity and stability of litter-invertebrate communities following land-use change in Sumatra, IndonesiaBiological Conservation191, 750-58

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

'Trophic whales' as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichmentJournal of Animal Ecology84(3), 680-91
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+49 341 9733205
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Friedrich Schiller University Jena

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