Pascal A. Niklaus

Research Interests

Plant and soil ecology; biogeochemical cycling; biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; global change; methane and nitrous oxide dynamics; statistical analysis;


Education and Professional Positions

2009 - present Senior Scientist at Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Leader of Global Change and Soil Ecology Group
2004 - 2010 Senior scientist at Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, Coordinator of TUMSS methane research cluster and investigations of ecological controls of methane and nitrous oxide fluxes
2003 - 2004 Two-year scholarship (Treubel foundation of the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft) for teaching, research, and 'habilitation' qualification at the University of Basel
2001 - 2002 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for Advanced Researchers. Grant title: "Interaction between atmospheric nitrogen deposition, plant species diversity, and soil methane consumption".
Research stays at IACR Rothamsted (UK) and Landcare Research (New Zealand)
1997 - 2000 Post-doctoral researcher (assistant) at the Institute of Botany, University of Basel, Switzerland (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation within the Swiss Priority Programme Environment)
1994 - 1996 PhD-Assistant and part-time technician (electronics) at the University of Basel
1992 - 1993 Research technician at the Institute of Applied Plant Biology in Schönenbuch, Switzerland
1993 Design and construction of a fully automated CO2 enrichment facility at the University of Basel

Editorial Services

since 2007 Handling Editor of Oecologia (Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Section)
2010 - 2015 Editor of Scientific Reports (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)
2011 - 2012 Review editor of Frontiers in Functional Plant Ecology

Selected Publications

  • Leppert KN, Niklaus PA, Scherer-Lorenzen M (2017) Does species richness of subtropical tree leaf litter affect decomposition, nutrient release, transfer and subsequent uptake by plants? Soil Biology and Biochemistry 115:44-53. DOI:10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.08.007.
  • Trogisch S, ..., Niklaus PA, ..., Bruelheide H (2017) Toward a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality. Ecology and Evolution, DOI:10.1002/ece3.3488.
  • Oehri J, Schmid B, Schaepman-Strub G, Niklaus PA (2017) Biodiversity promotes primary productivity and growing season lengthening at the landscape scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1703928114.
  • O'Brien MJ, Brezzi M, Schuldt A, Zhang JY, Ma KP, Schmid B, Niklaus PA (2017) Tree diversity drives diversity of arthropod herbivores but successional stage mediates detritivores. Ecology and Evolution, in press.
  • Weisser WW., ... , Niklaus PA., ... , Eisenhauer N. (2017) Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in a 15-year grassland experiment: Patterns, mechanisms, and open questions. Basic and Applied Ecology, in press.
  • Iturrate-Garcia M., Heijmans MMPD., Schweingruber FH., Maximov TC., Niklaus PA., Schaepman-Strub G. (2017) Shrub growth rate and bark responses to soil warming and nutrient addition ‒ a dendroecological approach in a field experiment. Dendrochronologia, in press.
  • Ristok C., Leppert KN., Franke K., Scherer-Lorenzen M., Niklaus PA., Wessjohann LA., Bruelheide H. (2017) Leaf litter diversity positively affects the decomposition of plant polyphenols. Plant and Soil, in press.
  • Bühlmann T., Caprez R., Hiltbrunner E., Körner C., Niklaus PA. (2017) Nitrogen fixation by Alnus species boosts soil nitrous oxide emissions. European Journal of Soil Science, in press.
  • Pei Z., Leppert KN., Eichenberg D., Bruelheide H., Niklaus PA., Buscot F., Gutknecht JLM. (2017) >Leaf litter diversity alters the microbial community and nutrient cycling in a subtropical forest ecosystem. Biogeochemistry, in press.
  • Gonzalez-Dominguez B., Studer MS., Hagedorn F., Niklaus PA., Abiven S. (2017) Leaching of soils during laboratory incubations does not affect soil organic carbon mineralisation but solubilisation. PLoS one, 12:e0174725. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174725
  • Li X., Pei KQ., Kery M., Niklaus PA., Schmid B. (2017) Decomposing functional trait associations in a Chinese subtropical forest. PLoS one, 12:e0175727. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175727
  • Gosheva S., Walthert L., Niklaus PA., Zimmermann S., Gimmi U., Hagedorn F. (2017) Reconstruction of historic forest cover changes indicates minor effects on carbon stocks in Swiss forest soils. Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-017-0129-9
  • Schmid B., Niklaus PA. (2017). Biodiversity: Complementary canopies. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1: 0104. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0104
  • Niklaus PA., Baruffol M., He JS., Ma KP., Schmid B. (2017). Can niche plasticity promote biodiversity-productivity relationships through increased complementarity? Ecology. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1748
  • Rime T., Niklaus PA. (2017). Spatio-temporal dynamics of soil CH4 uptake after application of N fertilizer with and without the nitrification inhibitor 3,4- dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP). Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 104:218-225. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.001
  • Peng S., Schmid B., Alexander F., Niklaus PA. (2017). Leaf area increases with species richness in young experimental stands of subtropical trees. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10:128-135. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw016
  • Schmid B., Baruffol M., Wang Z., Niklaus PA. (2017). A guide to analyzing biodiversity experiments. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10: 91-110. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw107
  • Brezzi M., Schmid B., Niklaus PA., Schuldt A. (2017). Tree diversity increases levels of herbivore damage in a subtropical forest canopy: evidence for dietary mixing by arthropods? Journal of Plant Ecology, 10: 13-27. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw038
  • Scholten T., ..., Niklaus PA., ... (2017). On the combined effect of soil fertility and topography on tree growth in subtropical forest ecosystems - a study from SE China. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10:111-127. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw065
  • Hahn CZ., Niklaus PA., Bruelheide H., Michalski S., Shi MM., Yang X., Zheng X., Fischer M., Durka W. (2017). Opposing intra vs. interspecific diversity effects on herbivory and growth in subtropical experimental tree assemblages. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10:242-251. DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw098
  • Huang Y., Ma Y., Zhao K., Niklaus PA., Schmid B., Jin-Sheng H. (2017). Positive effects of tree species diversity on litterfall quantity and quality along a secondary successional chronosequence in a subtropical forest. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10: 28-35. DOI: 10.093/jpe/rtw115