Postdocs/ Senior lecturers   >   PD Dr. Ina Meier
PD Dr. Ina Meier

Phone: +49 551 39 5712
Fax: +49 551 39 5701

Research interests

My research focuses on the ecological consequences of global change (rising atmospheric CO2 and temperature, N deposition, summer droughts) for rhizosphere dynamics and biogeochemistry of single-species and mixed temperate and Mediterranean forests. Another focus is on the consequences of species diversity loss with intensified grassland management for its functions.

Current research projects

Linking belowground biodiversity and ecosystem function in European forests (BioLink). FPS COST Action FP1305 (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). MC Member.

The phosphorus nutrition of European beech and Palestine oak under a future warmer and drier climate: experiments and transect studies. Research grant by Volkswagenstiftung (Niedersächsisches Vorab) PI.

Nitrogen and drought effects on the tree-soil interaction of ECM and AM temperate trees. DFG research grant. PI.

Root contributions to subsoil C fluxes. FOR 1806 – The forgotten part of carbon cycling: Organic matter storage and turnover in subsoils (SUBSOM) DFG research group.

Past research projects

Consequences of intensified management and associated species loss for above- and belowground resource use and biomass production. Grassland Management Experiment GRASSMAN , Cluster of Excellence ‘Functional Biodiversity Research’, Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.

Ecophysiological investigations of the drought stress tolerance of European beech. Climate Impact and Adaptation Research KLIFF , research group, Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.

The role of root and mycorrhizal exudates in coupling ecosystem C and N cycles under elevated atmospheric CO2. Duke University FACE experiment , collaboration between Duke University and Brookhaven National Laboratory , BER - U.S. Department of Energy.

Aboveground and belowground response of European beech to drought: field studies and experiments. DBU doctoral scholarship .

Curriculum vitae

2010 - dato Research associate and lecturer (University of Göttingen, Germany)
2009 - 2012 Post-doctoral research associate (Indiana University Bloomington, USA)
2009 - 2010 Visiting scholar (Duke University, USA)
2008 - 2009 Post-doctoral research fellow (University of Alberta, Canada)
2008 Guest researcher (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
2007 - 2008 Post-doctoral research associate (University of Göttingen, Germany)

2017 Habilitation (Dr. habil.) and Venia Legendi in Botany, Faculty of Biology, University of Göttingen, Germany
2007 Doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.), Department of Plant Ecology, University of Göttingen, Germany (2006 Research stay at Penn State University, USA)
2002 Degree in biology (Diplom-Biologin), Faculty of Biology, University of Göttingen, Germany (1997-1998 Study at University of Birmingham, Great Britain)


Liese R, Lübbe T, Albers NW, Meier IC* (2018) The  mycorrhizal  type  governs  root  exudation  and  N  uptake  of  temperate tree species. Tree Physiology, 38:83-95.

Avis PG, Meier IC*, Phillips RP (2017) An intact soil core bioassay for cultivating ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of forests. In: Soil Biological Communities and Ecosystem Resilience (eds. Lukac M, Grenni P, Gamboni M), pp. 173-190. Sustainability in Plant and Crop Protection. Springer Nature, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3-319-63335-0

Brunner I, Godbold D, Helmisaari H-S, Meier IC, Ostonen I, Prescott C, Soudzilovskaia N (accepted) Roots and Rhizospheres in Forest Ecosystems. Special issue. Forest Ecology and Management.

Knutzen F, Dulamsuren C, Meier IC, Leuschner C (2017) Recent climate warming-related growth decline impairs European beech in the center of its distribution range. Ecosystems 20:1494-1511.

Liese R, Alings K, Meier IC* (2017) Root branching is a leading root trait of the plant economics spectrum in temperate trees. Frontiers in Plant Science 8:315.

Meier IC*, Finzi AC, Phillips RP (2017) Root exudates increase N availability by stimulating microbial turnover of fast-cycling N pools. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 106:119-128. Recommended in F1000Prime

Meier IC*, Knutzen F, Eder LM, Müller-Haubold H, Goebel M-O, Bachmann J, Hertel D, Leuschner C (2017) The deep root system of Fagus sylvatica on sandy soil: structure and variation across a precipitation gradient. Ecosystems, early view. doi: 10.1007/s10021-017-0148-6

Tückmantel T, Leuschner C, Preusser S, Kandeler E, Angst G, Mueller CW, Meier IC* (2017) Root exudation patterns in a beech forest: Dependence on soil depth, root morphology, and environment. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 107:188-197.

Feßel C, Meier IC*, Leuschner C (2016) Relationship between species diversity, biomass and light transmittance in temperate semi-natural grasslands: Is productivity enhanced by complementary light use? Journal of Vegetation Science 27:144-155.

Meier IC*, Leuschner C, Marini E, Fender A-C (2016) Species-specific effects of temperate trees on greenhouse gas exchange of forest soil are diminished by drought.  Soil Biology & Biochemistry  95:122-134.

Knutzen F, Meier IC, Leuschner C (2015) Does reduced precipitation trigger physiological and morphological drought adaptations in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.)? Comparing provenances across a precipitation gradient. Tree Physiology 35:949-963.

Meier IC*, Pritchard SG, Brzostek ER, McCormack ML, Phillips RP (2015) Rhizosphere and hyphosphere differ in their impacts on carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests exposed to elevated CO2. New Phytologist 205:1164-1174.

Carsjens C, Ngoc Quynh N, Guzy J, Knutzen F, Meier IC, Müller M, Finkeldey R, Leuschner C, Polle A (2014) Intra-specific variations of the expression of stress-related genes in beech progenies are stronger than drought-induced responses. Tree Physiology 34:1348-1361.

Meier IC, Leuschner C (2014) Nutrient dynamics along a precipitation gradient in European beech forests. Biogeochemistry 120:51-69.

Meier IC*, Angert A, Falik O, Shelef O, Rachmilevitch S (2013) Increased root oxygen uptake in pea plants responding to non-self neighbors. Planta 238:577-586.

Meier IC*, Avis PG, Phillips RP (2013) Fungal communities influence root exudation rates in pine seedlings. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 83:585-595.

Meier IC* (2012) Climatic data, Tree ring records. In: Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change (ed. Philander SG), second edition, revised, volume 1, pp. 239-241. Sage, Los Angeles.

Phillips RP, Meier IC, Bernhardt ES, Grandy AS, Wickings K, Finzi AC (2012) Roots and fungi accelerate carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests exposed to elevated CO2. Ecology Letters 15:1042-1049. Recommended in F1000Prime

Meier IC, Leuschner C (2010) Variation of soil and biomass carbon pools in beech forests across a precipitation gradient. Global Change Biology 16:1035-1045.

Leuschner C, Voss S, Foetzki A, Meier IC (2009) In welcher Beziehung stehen geschätzter Blattverlust und tatsächliche Blattflächenreduktion bei der Buche? - On the relationship between visually estimated canopy defoliation and measured leaf area index in beech (Fagus sylvatica). Forstarchiv 80:229-235.

Meier IC* (2008) Climatic data, Tree ring records. In: Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change (ed. Philander SG), first edition, pp. 249-251. Sage, Los Angeles.

Meier IC*, Leuschner C (2008) Genotypic variation and phenotypic plasticity in the drought response of the fine root system of European beech. Tree Physiology 28:297-309.

Meier IC*, Leuschner C (2008) Leaf size and leaf area index in Fagus sylvatica forests: competing effects of precipitation, temperature and nitrogen availability. Ecosystems 11:655-669.

Meier IC*, Leuschner C (2008) The belowground drought response of European beech: fine root biomass and carbon partitioning in 14 mature stands across a precipitation gradient. Global Change Biology 14:2081-2095.

Meier IC* (2007) Aboveground and belowground response of European beech to drought: field studies and experiments. Electronic dissertations of the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, 131 pp.

Leuschner C, Meier IC, Hertel D (2006) On the niche breadth of Fagus sylvatica: soil nutrient status in 50 Central European beech stands on a broad range of bedrock types. Annals of Forest Science 63:355-368.

Meier IC, Leuschner C, Hertel D (2005) Nutrient return with leaf litter fall in Fagus sylvatica forests across a soil fertility gradient. Plant Ecology 177:99-112.




WiSe 2017/18
SoSe 2017
WiSe 2016/17
SoSe 2016
WiSe 2015/16
SoSe 2015


B.Bio.126Mp Tier- und Pflanzenökologie
B.Bio.163 Fachvertiefung Pflanzenökologie
B.Bio.190-2 Wissenschaftliches Projektmanagement
B.Biodiv.333 Pflanzenökologie: Wald- und Baumökologie
B.Biodiv.342 Wissenschaftliche Methoden und Projektmanagement
M.Biodiv.402.2 Globale Stoffkreisläufe und Brennpunkte der globalen Umweltkrise
M.Biodiv.402.4 Aktuelle Themen in Pflanzenökologie und Naturschutz
M.Biodiv.412.3: Botanischer Natur- und Umweltschutz
M.Biodiv.417 Wissenschaftliches Projektmanagement und fachspezifische Forschungsmethoden
M.Biodiv.420 Pflanzenökologie: Plant Community Ecology
M.Biodiv.421 Pflanzenökologie: Projektkurs Pflanzenökologie
M.Biodiv.450 Pflanzenökologie: Impact of Global Climate Change on Plant Communities and their Functional Traits

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