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Prof. Dr. Florian Jeltsch

Photo: IBB


Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation
University of Potsdam
Am Mühlenberg 3
14476 Potsdam (Golm)

Phone.: +49 331 977 1954

Building 60, 3. floor, office 3.18 (see

Education and Professional Activities

  • 1989 MSc. (German Diplom) Physics (Theoretical Ecology), Philipps-University Marburg
  • 1992 PhD in Physics/Theoretical Ecology, Philipps-University Marburg
  • 1992-2000 Scientist at the Department of Ecological Modelling, Centre for Environmental Research UFZ-Leipzig/Halle (Germany)
  • 1999 German ‚Habilitation’ in Theoretical Ecology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
  • 2000-2005 C3-Professor for Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology, University Potsdam
  • 2002-2004 Head of Botanical Garden, University Potsdam
  • 2006-2016 Associated scientist at the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ZALF Muencheberg e.V.
  • 2006- .. W3-Professor for Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology, University Potsdam
  • 2008-2010 Head of Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam
  • 2009- .. Dean of the Potsdam Graduate School (PoGS)

Current Employment

Head of Department of Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology

Selected Services

  • 2008 - 2014 Vice-President of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GFÖ)
  • 2012 - 2016 Member of the DFG review board 207 (responsible member for ecology of agricultural landscapes)
  • 2009 - 2012 Member of the advisory committee of the German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training (GUAT)
  • 2013- .. Co-Director Berlin-Brandenburg Institute for Advanced Biodiversity Research BBIB
  • Editorial Board: Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (editor-in-chief); Basic and Applied Ecology; Movement Ecology
  • 2015- .. Speaker of the DFG Research Training Group BioMove

Research Interests

  • spatial ecology: linking individuals, populations, communities and landscapes
  • movement Ecology
  • dryland ecology 
  • impact of land use and environmental change on biodiversity dynamics

Methods and Expertise

  • concepts, theoretical ecology and ecological modelling (focus: spatially-explicit simulation models)
  • linking empirical/experimental and modelling approaches in ecology

Further Links


Link to Google Scholar Profile

Selected Publications (out of 145 peer-reviewed journal contributions)

  • Jeltsch F, Milton SJ, Dean WRJ, van Rooyen N (1996) Tree spacing and coexistence in semiarid savannas. Journal of Ecology 84: 583-595.
  • Jeltsch F, Milton SJ, Dean WRJ, van Rooyen N (1997) Analysing shrub encroachment in the southern Kalahari: a grid-based modelling approach. Journal of Applied Ecology 34(6): 1497-1509.
  • Jeltsch F, Milton SJ, Moloney K (1999) Detecting process from snap-shot pattern - lessons from tree spacing in the southern Kalahari. Oikos 85(3): 451-467.
  • Grimm V, Revilla E, Berger U, Jeltsch F, Mooij WM, Railsback SF, Thulke H-H, Weiner J, Wiegand T, DeAngelis DL (2005). Pattern-oriented modeling of agent-based complex systems: lessons from ecology. Science 310, 987-991.
  • Tietjen B, Jeltsch F (2007) Semi-arid grazing systems and climate change – a survey of present modelling potential and future needs. J. Applied Ecology 44: 425-43.
  • Jeltsch F, Moloney K, Schurr F, Köchy M, Schwager M (2008) The state of plant population modelling in light of environmental change. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 9, 171-189.
  • May F, Grimm V, Jeltsch F (2009) Reversed effects of grazing on plant diversity: the role of below-ground competition and size symmetry. Oikos 118: 1830-1843.
  • Zurell D, Jeltsch F, Dormann C, Schröder B (2009) Static distribution models in dynamically changing systems: How good can predictions really be? Ecography 32: 733-744.
  • Tietjen B, Jeltsch F, Zehe E, Groengroeft A, Schiffers K, Oldeland J (2010) Effetcs of climate change on the coupled dynamics of water and vegetation in drylands. Ecohydrology 3: 226-237.
  • Schiffers K, Tielbörger K, Tietjen B, Jeltsch F (2011) Root plasticity buffers competition among plants - theory meets experimental data. Ecology 92: 610-620.
  • Jeltsch F. Moloney KA, Schwager M, Körner K, Blaum N (2011) Consequences of correlations between habitat modifications and negative impact of climate change for regional species survival. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 145: 49-58.
  • Buchmann CM, Schurr FM, Nathan R, Jeltsch F (2011) An allometric model of home range formation explains the structuring of animal communities exploiting heterogenous resources. Oikos 120: 106-118.
  • Buchmann CM, Schurr FM, Nathan R, Jeltsch F (2012) Movement upscaled - the importance of individual foraging movement for community response to habitat loss. Ecography 35:436-445.
  • Lohmann D, Tietjen B, Blaum N, Joubert D, Jeltsch F (2012) Shifting thresholds and changing degradation patterns: climate change effects on the simulated long-term response of a semi-arid savanna to grazing. J Appl Ecol. 49:814-823.
  • May F, Giladi I, Ziv Y, Jeltsch F (2013) Metacommunity, mainland-island system or island communities? - Assessing the regional dynamics of plant communities in a fragmented landscape. Ecography. 36:1-12.
  • Jeltsch F, Bonte D, Pe'er G, Reineking B, Leimgruber P, Balkenhol N, Schröder B, Buchmann MC, Mueller T, Blaum N, Zurell D, Böhning-Gaese K, Wiegand T, Eccard AJ, Hofer H, Reeg J, Eggers U, Bauer S, (2013). Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research - exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics. Movement Ecology 1:6
  • Buchmann CM, Schurr F, Nathan R, Jeltsch F (2013) Habitat loss and fragmentation affecting mammal and bird communities - the role of interspecific competition and individual space use. Ecological Informatics 14: 90–98.
  • Reeg, J., Schad, T., Preuss, T.G., Solga, A., Körner, K., Mihan, C., Jeltsch, F., 2017. Modelling direct and indirect effects of herbicides on non-target grassland communities. Ecol. Modell. 348, 44–55. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.01.010
  • Schaefer, Merlin, Menz, Stephan, Jeltsch, Florian, Zurell, Damaris (2017): "sOAR: A tool for modelling optimal animal life-history strategies in cyclic environments". Ecography.doi: 10.1111/ecog.03328.
  • Synodinos AD, Eldridge D, Geißler K, Jeltsch F, Lohmann D, Midgley G & Blaum N (2017). Remotely sensed canopy height reveals three pantropical ecosystem states: comment. Ecology. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1997
  • Bergholz, K, F May, I Giladi, M Ristow, Y Ziv, F Jeltsch (2017): Environmental heterogeneity drives fine-scale species assembly and functional diversity of annual plants in a semi-arid environment. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 24: 138-146.


Photo: IBB