Dr Roel van Klink

Postdoctoral Researcher
Biodiversity Synthesis

Research interests


I investigate long-term changes in insect assemblages using existing long-term monitoring data that I assembled from publications and repositories. The questions I am particularly interested in answering are: how is insect diversity changing over time? What drives this change, and what are the consequences? Next to this data synthesis approach, I am now taking a closer look at particular high quality datasets to investigate the drivers of change for particular insect groups, such as butterflies and ground beetles, where I work to make all this data publicly available. The data I assembled are also used in projects led by my colleagues Shane Blowes and Wubing Xu.  

I am also interested in the collection of new insect monitoring data, both by traditional means and using modern technologies, such as DNA barcoding, radar, computer vision and acoustic monitoring. I co-founded an international expert group on technological insect monitoring that aims at improving communication among different technologies, countries and projects. This has already led to several new projects: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA22129/ and several proposals.

Most recently I have started working in interdisciplinary collaborations to understand the relations between the biodiversity crisis and the other crises that humanity is facing.  

Previously I worked on the drivers of arthropod diversity in grasslands. I studied how mowing regimes can be altered to benefit biodiversity at the University of Bern, Switzerland. I also studied the effects of rewilding with large herbivores on arthropod communities in the Oostvaardersplassen (The Netherlands) at the University of Groningen (NL). My PhD research (also at University of Groningen) focused on the importance of livestock species and densities for biodiversity of salt marshes under nature conservation.

Short CV


Since October 2022

Senior Scientists at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) (Halle/Jena/Leipzig, Germany) – subject: Insect community dynamics and monitoring.


Since September 2017              

Post-doctoral researcher at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) (Halle/Jena/Leipzig, Germany) – subject: long-term insect community dynamics.


December 2015 – June 2017    

Post-doctoral researcher conservation biology at University of Bern (Bern, Switzerland)


April 2015 – November 2015    

Post-doctoral researcher at Czech academy of Sciences (České Budějovice, Czech Republic)


May 2013 – February 2015      

Post-doctoral researcher at University of Groningen (NL), Community and conservation ecology group. – Subject: impact of large herbivores on arthropod communities in a rewilding experiment.


January 2009 – December 2012                       

PhD at University of Groningen (Groningen, The Netherlands), Community and conservation ecology group – Effects f livestock grazing on arthropod communities 


September 2003 – January 2006

MSc biology at Wageningen University (NL). Subjects:

- Plant and systems ecology: Pollinator abundance and species richness at increasing distance from a nature reserve
- Quantifying European otter (Lutra lutra) sprainting behaviour in a lowland peat swamp. De Weerribben N.P.  

Publications before iDiv


Van Klink, R.; Menz, M.H.M.; Baur, H; Dosch, O.; Kühne, I; Lischer, L.; Luka, H.; Meyer, S.; Szikora, T.; Unternährer, D.; Arlettaz, R.; Humbert, J.-Y. (2019) Larval and phenological traits predict insect community response to mowing regime manipulations. Ecological applications in press.

Lessard-Therien, M.; Humbert, J-Y; Hajdamowicz, I.; Stańska, M.; van Klink, R., Lischer, L.; Arlettaz, R. (2018) Impacts of management intensification on ground-dwelling beetles and spiders in mountain semi-natural grasslands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 251, 59-66

Rickert, C; Fichtner, A.; van Klink, R. (2018) Livestock grazing on salt marshes disrupts of plant-insect interactions on salt marshes. Insect Conservation and Diversity 11(2) 152-161

Bowler, D.E.; Haase, P.; Hof, C.; Kröncke, I.; Baert, L.; Dekoninck, W.; Domisch, S.; Hendrickx, F.; Hickler, T.; Neumann, H.; O’Hara, R.B.; Sell, A.F.; Sonnewald, M.; Stoll, S.; Türkay, M.; van Klink, R.; Schweiger, O.; Vermeulen, R.; Böhning-Gaese, K. (2017) Cross-taxa generalities in the relationship between population abundance and ambient temperatures. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284 dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.0870 .

 Van der Plas, A.L.D.; van Klink, R.; Manning, P.; Olff, H.; Fischer, M. (2017) Sensitivity of functional diversity metrics to sampling intensity. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8, 1072-1080

Van Klink, R.;; Boch, S.; Buri, P.; Rieder, N.S.; (2017) No detrimental effects of delayed mowing or uncut grass refuges on plant diversity, functional composition or phytomass production in low-intensity hay meadows. Basic and Applied Ecology 20, 1-9.

Alberti, J.; Bakker, E.S.; van Klink, R.; Olff, H.; Smit, C. (2017) Herbivore exclusion promotes a more stochastic plant community assembly in a natural grassland. Ecology 98(4), 961-970.

Ford, H.; Evans, B.; van Klink, R.; Skov, M.W.; Garbutt, A. (2017) The importance of canopy complexity in shaping seasonal spider and beetle assemblages in saltmarsh habitats. Ecological Entomology 42(2) 145-155.

Bowler, D.E.; Hof, C.; Haase, P.; Kröncke, I.; Schweiger, O.; Adrian, R.; Baert, L.; Bauer, H.-G.; Blick, T.; Brooker, R.W.; Dekoninck, W.; Domisch, S.; Eckmann, R.; Hendrickx, F. ; Hickler, T.; Klotz, S.; Kraberg, A.; Kühn, I.; Matesanz, S.; Meschede, A.; Neumann, H.; O’Hara, B.; Russell, D.; Sell, A.F.; Sonnewald, M.; Stoll, S.; Sundermann, A.; Tackenberg, O.; Türkay, M.; Valladares, F.; van Herk, K.; van Klink, R.; Vermeulen, R.; Voigtländer, K.; Wagner, R.; Welk, E.; Wiemers, M.; Wiltshire, K.H.; Katrin Böhning-Gaese, K. (2017) Cross-realm assessment of climate-change impacts on species’ abundance trends. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1 article 0067, 1-7.

Schrama, M.; van Klink, R. (2016) Overgrazing in:Global soil biodiversity atlas. Orgiazzi et al. eds. European Commission, Publication office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Van Klink, R.; Nolte, S.; Mandema, F.S.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Esselink, P.E.; Bakker, J.P.; Smit, C. (2016) Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels– The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 235, 329-339

Van Klink, R.; Ruifrok, J.L., Smit, C. (2016) Rewilding with large herbivores: direct effects and edge effects of grazing refuges on plant and invertebrate communities. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment 234, 81-97

Van Klink, R.; van der Plas, A.L.D.; van Noordwijk, C.G.E.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Olff, H. (2015) Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity. Biological Reviews 90, 347-366

Van Klink, R.; Schrama, M, Nolte, S.; Bakker, J.P.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Berg, M.P. (2015) Defoliation and soil compaction jointly drive large-herbivore grazing effects on plants and soil arthropods on clay soil. Ecosystems 18, 671-685

Smit, C.; Ruifrok, J.L.; van Klink, R.; Olff, H. (2015) Rewilding with large herbivores: The importance of grazing refuges for sapling establishment and wood-pasture formation. Biological conservation 182, 134-142

Van Klink, R.; Mandema, F.S.; Bakker, J.P.; Tinbergen, J.M. (2014). Foraging site choice and diet selection of Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis breeding on grazed salt marshes. Bird Study 61, 101-110

Van Klink, R.; Rickert, C.; Vermeulen, R.; Vorst, O.; WallisDeVries, M.F.; Bakker, J.P. (2013) Grazed vegetation mosaics do not maximize arthropod diversity: Evidence from salt marshes. Biological Conservation 164, 150-157

Rickert, C.; Fichtner ,A.; van Klink, R.; Bakker,J.P. (2012). Alpha- and beta-diversity in moth communities in salt marshes is driven by grazing management. Biological Conservation 146, 24-31.

Kohler, F.; Verhulst, J.; van Klink, R.; Kleijn, D. (2008). At what spatial scale do high-quality habitats enhance the diversity of forbs and pollinators in intensively farmed landscapes? Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 753-762

iDiv publications


van Klink, R.

(2023): Book review of ecology and conservation of the dutch ground beetle fauna – lessons from 66 years of pitfall trapping. Journal of Insect Conservation

Schuch, S., van Klink, R., Wesche, K.

(2023): Is less simply less? A comparison of abundance and biomass losses in auchenorrhynchan grassland communities and their different impacts on trait composition and taxonomical diversity. Ecological Indicators

Xu, Wu-Bing, Blowes, Shane A., Brambilla, Viviana, Chow, Cher F. Y., Fontrodona-Eslava, Ada, Martins, Inês S., McGlinn, Daniel, Moyes, Faye, Sagouis, Alban, Shimadzu, Hideyasu, van Klink, Roel, Magurran, Anne E., Gotelli, Nicholas J., McGill, Brian J., Dornelas, Maria, Chase, Jonathan M.

(2023): Regional occupancy increases for widespread species but decreases for narrowly distributed species in metacommunity time series. Nature Communications

Callaghan, Corey T., Borda-de-Água, Luís, van Klink, Roel, Rozzi, Roberto, Pereira, Henrique M.

(2023): Unveiling global species abundance distributions. Nature Ecology & Evolution

Martins, Inês S., Schrodt, Franziska, Blowes, Shane A., Bates, Amanda E., Bjorkman, Anne D., Brambilla, Viviana, Carvajal-Quintero, Juan, Chow, Cher F. Y., Daskalova, Gergana N., Edwards, Kyle, Eisenhauer, Nico, Field, Richard, Fontrodona-Eslava, Ada, Henn, Jonathan J., van Klink, Roel, Madin, Joshua S., Magurran, Anne E., McWilliam, Michael, Moyes, Faye, Pugh, Brittany, Sagouis, Alban, Trindade-Santos, Isaac, McGill, Brian J., Chase, Jonathan M., Dornelas, Maria

(2023): Widespread shifts in body size within populations and assemblages. Science

Spake, R., Barajas-Barbosa, M. P., Blowes, S. A., Bowler, D. E., Callaghan, C. T., Garbowski, M., Jurburg, S. D., Klink, R. v., Korell, L., Ladouceur, E., Rozzi, R., Viana, D. S., Xu, W.-B., Chase, J. M.

(2022): Detecting Thresholds of Ecological Change in the Anthropocene. Annual Review of Environment and Resources

van Klink, R., August, T., Bas, Y., Bodesheim, P., Bonn, A., Fossøy, F., Høye, T. T., Jongejans, E., Menz, M. H. M., Miraldo, A., Roslin, T., Roy, H. E., Ruczyński, I., Schigel, D., Schäffler, L., Sheard, J. K., Svenningsen, C., Tschan, G. F., Wäldchen, J., Zizka, V. M. A., Åström, J., Bowler, D. E.

(2022): Emerging technologies revolutionise insect ecology and monitoring. Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Sohlström, E.sohl H., Brose, U., van Klink, R., Rall, B. C., Rosenbaum, B., Schädler, M., Barnes, A. D.

(2022): Future climate and land-use intensification modify arthropod community structure. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment

van Klink, R., Bowler, D. E., Gongalsky, K. B. and Chase, J. M.

(2022): Long-term abundance trends of insect taxa are only weakly correlated. Biology Letters

A. Perino, H. M. Pereira, M. Felipe-Lucia, H. Kim, H. S. Kühl, M. R. Marselle, J. N. Meya, C. Meyer, L. M. Navarro, R. van Klink, G. Albert, C. D. Barratt, H. Bruelheide, Y. Cao, A. Chamoin, M. Darbi, M. Dornelas, N. Eisenhauer, F. Essl, N. Farwig, J. Förster, J. Freyhof, J. Geschke, F. Gottschall, C. Guerra, P. Haase, T. Hickler, U. Jacob, T. Kastner, L. Korell, I. Kühn, G. U. C. Lehmann, B. Lenzner, A. Marques, E. Motivans Švara, L. C. Quintero, A. Pacheco, A. Popp, J. Rouet-Leduc, F. Schnabel, J. Siebert, I. R. Staude, S. Trogisch, V. Švara, J.-C. Svenning, G. Pe'er, K. Raab, D. Rakosy, M. Vandewalle, A. S. Werner, C. Wirth, H. Xu, D. Yu, Y. Zinngrebe and A. Bonn

(2021): Biodiversity post-2020: Closing the gap between global targets and national-level implementation. Conservation Letters

E. Ladouceur, J. McGowan, P. Huber, H. Possingham, D. Scridel, R. van Klink, P. Poschlod, J. H. C. Cornelissen, C. Bonomi, B. Jiménez-Alfaro

(2021): An objective-based prioritization approach to support trophic complexity through ecological restoration species mixes. Journal of Applied Ecology

R. van Klink, D. E. Bowler, O. Comay, M. M. Driessen, S. K. M. Ernest, A. Gentile, F. Gilbert, K. B. Gongalsky, J. Owen, G. Pe'er, I. Pe'er, V. H. Resh, I. Rochlin, S. Schuch, A. B. Swengel, S. R. Swengel, T. J. Valone, R. Vermeulen, T. Wepprich, J. L. Wiedmann, J. M. Chase

(2021): InsectChange: a global database of temporal changes in insect and arachnid assemblages. Ecology

Valencia, E., F. de Bello, T. Galland, P. B. Adler, J. Lepš, A. E-Vojtkó, R. van Klink, C. P. Carmona, J. Danihelka, J. Dengler, D. J. Eldridge, M. Estiarte, R. García-González, E. Garnier, D. Gómez‐García, S. P. Harrison, T. Herben, R. Ibáñez, A. Jentsch, N. Juergens, M. Kertész, K. Klumpp, F. Louault, R. H. Marrs, R. Ogaya, G. Ónodi, R. J. Pakeman, I. Pardo, M. Pärtel, B. Peco, J. Peñuelas, R. F. Pywell, M. Rueda, W. Schmidt, U. Schmiedel, M. Schuetz, H. Skálová, P. Šmilauer, M. Šmilauerová, C. Smit, M. Song, M. Stock, J. Val, V. Vandvik, D. Ward, K. Wesche, S. K. Wiser, B. A. Woodcock, T. P. Young, F.-H. Yu, M. Zobel, L. Götzenberger

(2020): Synchrony matters more than species richness in plant community stability at a global scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

van Klink, R., Bowler, D. E., Gongalsky, K. B., Swengel, A. B., Gentile, A., Chase, J. M.

(2020): Meta-analysis reveals declines in terrestrial but increases in freshwater insect abundances. Science

van Klink, R., van Laar-Wiersma, J., Vorst, O., Smit, C.

(2020): Rewilding with large herbivores: Positive direct and delayed effects of carrion on plant and arthropod communities. Plos One

Hallmann, C. A., Zeegers, T., van Klink, R., Vermeulen, R., van Wielink, P., Spijkers, H., van Deijk, J., van Steenis, W., Jongejans, E.

(2019): Declining abundance of beetles, moths and caddisflies in the Netherlands. Insect Conservation and Diversity

Perino, A., H. M. Pereira, L. M. Navarro, N. Fernandez, J. M. Bullock, S. Ceausu, A. Cortes-Avizanda, R. van Klink, T. Kuemmerle, A. Lomba, G. Pe'er et al.

(2019): Rewilding complex ecosystems. Science

Hallmann, C., Zeegers, T., van Klink, R., Vermeulen, R., van Wielink, P., Spijkers, H., Jongejans, E.

(2018): Analysis of insect monitoring data from De Kaaistoep and Drenthe. In: (Eds.) Reports Animal Ecology and Physiology 2018-2 Department of Animal Ecology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Radboud University

van Klink, R., WallisDeVries, M. F.

(2018): Risks and opportunities of trophic rewilding for arthropod communities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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