Biodiversity, Macroecology and Biogeography

Dr. Patrick Weigelt

Patrick Weigelt 1

Senior Scientist
email: pweigel[at]
phone: +49-(0)551-39-13761

Research Interests
I am interested in the distribution of plant life on earth, particularly across oceanic islands and island-like systems. Based on macroecological databases of plant distributions, I study past and present factors shaping today's diversity patterns of endemic, native and alien plant species. To disentangle anthropogenic, abiotic and biotic processes such as speciation and dispersal, I focus on the taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic composition and dissimilarity of regional floras at the macroecological scale, i.e. across large spatial and temporal extents.

I am a biologist by training with a background in Tropical plant ecology. During my PhD here at the Biodiversity, Macroecology and Biogeography group, I studied "the Macroecology of island floras". To this end, I developed a global database of island floras and characteristics that evolved into the Global Inventory of Floras and Traits (GIFT). GIFT is a global archive of regional plant checklists and floras, physical geographic, bioclimatic and socio-economic characteristics and plant functional traits. It allows for large-scale biogeographical and macroecological analyses based on plant species identities and regional species composition. In addition, I am a core-member of the Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) initiative, a database project about the global distribution of alien plant species.

2004 - 2007: B.Sc. in Biological Diversity and Ecology, University of Göttingen
Advisors: S. Robbert Gradstein & Michael Kessler

2007 - 2010: M.Sc. in Biological Diversity and Ecology, University of Göttingen
Advisors: Michael Kessler & Karsten Wesche

2008: Exchange term at University of Turku, Finland
Advisors: Hanna Tuomisto & Kalle Ruokolainen

2010 - 2013: Ph.D. in Biological Diversity and Ecology, University of Göttingen
Advisors: Holger Kreft & Michael Kessler


peer reviewed

van Kleunen, M., Essl, F., Pergl, J., Brundu, G., Carboni, M., Dullinger, S., Early, R., González-Moreno, P., Groom, Q.J., Hulme, P.E., Kueffer, C., Kühn, I., Máguas, C., Maurel, N., Novoa, A., Parepa, M., Pyšek, P., Seebens, H., Tanner, R., Touza, J., Verbrugge, L., Weber, E., Dawson, W., Kreft, H., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Klonner, G., Talluto, M.V. & Dehnen-Schmutz, K. (2018): The changing role of ornamental horticulture in alien plant invasions. Biological Reviews. doi: 10.1111/brv.12402 pdf

Kalusová, V., Chytrý, M., van Kleunen, M., Mucina, L., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Weigelt, P., Winter, M. & Pyšek, P. (2017): Naturalization of European plants on other continents: The role of donor habitats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 13756-13761. pdf

Mayer, K., Haeuser, E., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Lenzner, B. & van Kleunen, M. (2017): Naturalization of ornamental plant species in public green spaces and private gardens. Biological Invasions 19, 3613-3627. pdf

Pyšek, P., Pergl, J., Essl, F., Lenzner, B., Dawson, W., Kreft, H., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Kartesz, J., Nishino, M., Antonova, L.A., Barcelona, J.F., Cabezas, F.J., Cárdenas, D., Cárdenas-Toro, J., Castano, N., Chacón, E., Chatelain, C., Dullinger, S., Ebel, A.L., Figueiredo, E., Fuentes, N., Genovesi, P., Groom, Q.J., Henderson, L., Inderjit, Kupriyanov, A., Masciadri, S., Maurel, N., Meerman, J., Morozova, O., Moser, D., Nickrent, D., Nowak, P.M., Pagad, S., Patzelt, A., Pelser, P.B., Seebens, H., Shu, W., Thomas, J., Velayos, M., Weber, E., Wieringa, J.J., Baptiste, M.P. & van Kleunen, M. (2017): Naturalized alien flora of the world: species diversity, taxonomic and phylogenetic patterns, geographic distribution and global hotspots of plant invasion. Preslia 89, 203-274. pdf

Dawson, W., Moser, D., van Kleunen, M., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M., Lenzner, B., Blackburn, T.M., Dyer, E.E., Cassey, P., Scrivens, S.L., Economo, E.P., Guénard, B., Capinha, C., Seebens, H., García-Díaz, P., Nentwig, W., García-Berthou, E., Casal, C., Mandrak, N.E., Fuller, P., Meyer, C. & Essl, F. (2017): Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0186. pdf - also see BBC News

Klonner, G., Dullinger, I., Wessely, J., Bossdorf, O., Carboni, M., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Gattringer, A., Haeuser, E., van Kleunen, M., Kreft, H., Moser, D., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Thuiller, W., Weigelt, P., Winter, M. & Dullinger, S. (2017): Will climate change increase hybridization risk between potential plant invaders and their congeners in Europe? Diversity and Distributions 23, 934-943. pdf

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, 1114-1123. pdf

Patiño, J., Whittaker, R.J., Borges, P.A.V., Fernandez-Palacios, J.M., Ah-Peng, C., Araujo, M.B., Avila, S.P., Cardoso, P., Cornuault, J., De Boer, E.J., de Nascimento, L., Gil, A., Gonzalez-Castro, A., Gruner, D.S., Heleno, R., Hortal, J., Illera, J.C., Kaiser-Bunbury, C.N., Matthews, T.J., Papadopoulou, A., Pettorelli, N., Price, J.P., Santos, A.M.C., Steinbauer, M.J., Triantis, K.A., Valente, L.M., Vargas, P., Weigelt, P. & Emerson, B.C. (2017): A roadmap for island biology: 50 fundamental questions after 50 years of The Theory of Island Biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 44, 963-983. pdf

Seebens, H., Blackburn, T.M., Dyer, E.E., Genovesi, P., Hulme, P.E., Jeschke, J.M., Pagad, S., Pyšek, P., Winter, M., Arianoutsou, M., Bacher, S., Blasius, B., Brundu, G., Capinha, C., Celesti-Grapow, L., Dawson, W., Dullinger, S., Fuentes, N., Jäger, H., Kartesz, J., Kenis, M., Kreft, H., Kühn, I., Lenzner, B., Liebhold, A., Mosena, A., Moser, D., Nishino, M., Pearman, D., Pergl, J., Rabitsch, W., Rojas-Sandoval, J., Roques, A., Rorke, S., Rossinelli, S., Roy, H.E., Scalera, R., Schindler, S., Stajerová, K., Tokarska-Guzik, B., van Kleunen, M., Walker, K., Weigelt, P., Yamanaka, T. & Essl, F. (2017): No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications 8, 14435. pdf (highlighted in Science and Nature)

König, C., Weigelt, P. & Kreft, H. (2017): Dissecting global turnover in vascular plants. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26, 228-242. pdf

Lenzner, B., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., Beierkuhnlein, C. & Steinbauer, M.J. (2017): The general dynamic model of island biogeography revisited on the level of major plant families. Journal of Biogeography 44, 1029-1040. pdf

Borregaard, M.K., Amorim, I.R., Borges, P.A.V., Cabral, J.S., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Field, R., Heaney, L.R., Kreft, H., Matthews, T.J., Olesen, J.M., Price, J., Rigal, F., Steinbauer, M.J., Triantis, K.A., Valente, L., Weigelt, P. & Whittaker, R.J. (2017): Oceanic island biogeography through the lens of the General Dynamic Model: assessment and prospect. Biological Reviews 92, 830-853. pdf

Dullinger, I., Wessely, J., Bossdorf, O., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Gattringer, A., Klonner, G., Kreft, H., Kuttner, M., Moser, D., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Thuiller, W., van Kleunen, M., Weigelt, P., Winter, M. & Dullinger, S. (2017): Climate change will increase the naturalization risk from garden plants in Europe. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26, 43-53. pdf

Razanajatovo, M., Maurel, N., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Kreft, H., Pergl, J., Pyšek, P., Weigelt, P., Winter, M. & van Kleunen, M. (2016): Plants capable of selfing are more likely to become naturalized. Nature Communications 7, 13313. pdf

Weigelt, P., Steinbauer, M.J., Cabral, J.S. & Kreft, H. (2016): Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity. Nature 532, 99-102. pdf (commentary by J.M. Fernández-Palacios)

Meyer, C., Weigelt, P. & Kreft, H. (2016): Multidimensional biases, gaps and uncertainties in global plant occurrence information. Ecology Letters 19, 992-1006. pdf

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 B. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0279 pdf

Karger, D.N., Cord, A.F., Kessler, M., Kreft, H., Kühn, I., Pompe, S., Sandel, B., Cabral, J.S., Smith, A.B., Svenning, J.-C., Tuomisto, H., Weigelt, P. & Wesche, K. (2016): Delineating probabilistic species pools in ecology and biogeography. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25, 489-501. pdf

Weigelt, P. (2015): The macroecology of island floras. Frontiers of Biogeography 7, 119-125. pdf

Weigelt, P., Kissling, W.D., Kisel, Y., Fritz, S.A., Karger, D.N., Kessler, M., Lehtonen, S., Svenning, J.-C. & Kreft, H. (2015): Global patterns and drivers of phylogenetic structure in island floras. Scientific Reports 5, 12213. pdf

van Kleunen, M., Dawson, W., Essl, F., Pergl, J., Winter, M., Weber, E., Kreft, H., Weigelt, P., Kartesz, J., Nishino, M., Antonova, L.A., Barcelona, J.F., Cabezas, F.J., Cardenas, D., Cardenas-Toro, J., Castano, N., Chacon, E., Chatelain, C., Ebel, A.L., Figueiredo, E., Fuentes, N., Groom, Q.J., Henderson, L., Inderjit, Kupriyanov, A., Masciadri, S., Meerman, J., Morozova, O., Moser, D., Nickrent, D.L., Patzelt, A., Pelser, P.B., Baptiste, M.P., Poopath, M., Schulze, M., Seebens, H., Shu, W.S., Thomas, J., Velayos, M., Wieringa, J.J. & Pyšek, P. (2015): Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants. Nature 525, 100-103. pdf (commentary by M. Rejmánek)

Stein, A., Beck, J., Meyer, C., Waldmann, E., Weigelt, P. & Kreft, H. (2015): Differential effects of environmental heterogeneity on global mammal species richness. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24, 1072-1083. pdf

Patiño, J., Sólymos, P., Carine, M., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H. & Vanderpoorten, A. (2015): Island floras are not necessarily more species-poor than continental ones. Journal of Biogeography 42, 8-10. pdf

Patiño, J., Weigelt, P., Guilhaumon, F., Kreft, H., Triantis, K.A., Naranjo-Cigala, A., Sólymos, P. & Vanderpoorten, A. (2014): Differences in species-area relationships among the major lineages of land plants: a macroecological perspective. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23, 1275-1283. pdf

Cabral, J.*, Weigelt, P.*, Kissling, W.D. & Kreft, H. (2014): Biogeographic, climatic and spatial drivers differentially affect α, β and γ-diversities on oceanic archipelagos. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281, 20133246. pdf - also see Göttinger Tageblatt

Karger, D.N.*, Weigelt, P.*, Amoroso, V.B., Darnaedi, D., Hidayat, A., Kreft, H. & Kessler, M. (2014): Island biogeography from regional to local scales: evidence for a spatially scaled echo pattern of fern diversity in the Southeast Asian archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 41, 250-260. pdf (commentary by R.J. Whittaker & T.J. Matthews)

Weigelt, P., Jetz, W., Kreft, H. (2013): Bioclimatic and physical characterization of the World′s islands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, 15307-15312. pdf - also see This week in PNAS | Spiegel Online | Die Welt | La Presse | El Mundo | Globo | Wiener Zeitung | SRF | ORF | WDR

Weigelt, P. & Kreft, H. (2013): Quantifying island isolation – insights from global patterns of insular plant species richness. Ecography 36, 417-429. pdf

Normann, F., Weigelt, P., Gehrig, C., Gradstein, S.R., Sipman, H.J.M., Obregon, A. & Bendix, J. (2010): Diversity and vertical distribution of epiphytic macrolichens in lowland rain forest and lowland cloud forest of French Guiana. Biological Indicators 10, 1111-1118. pdf

Homeier, J., Englert, F., Leuschner, C., Weigelt, P. & Unger, M. (2010): Factors controlling the abundance of lianas along an altitudinal transect of tropical moist forests in Ecuador. Forest Ecology and Management 259, 1399-1405. pdf

* equally contributing authors


Weigelt, P. (2014): The Macroecology of Island Floras. Biodiversity and Ecology Series B Vol. 12, Göttingen Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology, 251 pp. pdf

Weigelt, P. (2010): Diversity patterns of ferns along a climatic gradient in Bolivian Amazonia. Master's thesis, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Research, University of Goettingen, 86 pp.

Gradstein, S.R., Klatt, S., Normann, F., Weigelt, P., Willmann, R., Wilson, R. (eds.) (2008): Systematics 2008, Programme and Abstracts. Goettingen University Press, 425 pp. pdf

Weigelt, P. (2007): Diversitaet epiphytischer Makroflechten in Zentral Franzoesisch Guyana - Untersuchungen in einem potentiellen tropischen Tieflandnebelwald. Bachelor's thesis, Department of Systematic Botany, University of Goettingen, 65 pp.