Alumni   >   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 root-rhizosphere dynamics and biogeochemistry of temperate, boreal, and Mediterranean biomes (spanning from the organismic to the global scale). Another focus is on the consequences of intensified management for species diversity and ecosystem functionality of different grassland and forest-use types.

Google Scholar Profile
ResearchGate Profile

Current research projects

Partnership for research on biota-climate-feedbacks (PERICLES). UHH Next Generation Partnerships - Thematic Networks. Co-PI.

Mycorrhizal control of biogeochemical cycles in forests: the influence of tree diversity and scale. DFG Heisenberg Programme. PI.

Tree diversity effects on rhizodeposition and rhizosphere priming: the role of the mycorrhizal colonization in coupling C and N cycles in diverse tree stands. DFG research grant. PI.

Towards understanding root trait variation and ecosystem functioning - sROOT. iDiv working group (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig). Co-PI.

Past research projects

Root traits as predictors of plant and soil functions: aggregating current knowledge to build better foundations for root ecological science. 25th New Phytologist workshop. Invited expert for root physiology.

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: Forschungskooperation Niedersachsen Israel). Press releases: Mehr Licht ins Dunkel! Wie Sichtwechsel die Wissenschaft voranbringen and Gemeinsam forschen - Verbindung stiften. PI.

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

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.

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

2020 - dato Heisenberg professor (University of Hamburg, Germany)
2017 - 2020 Senior lecturer and researcher (University of Göttingen, Germany)
2010 - 2018 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, Weinhold A, Poeschl Y, van Dam NM, Meier IC* (in resubmission) Exudate metabolomic richness of trees determines soil C and N cycles of temperate forests. New Phytologist.

Weedon JT, Martinovic T, Bevans RA, de Boeck H, Frey B, Fuji S, Hicks LC, Lopez-Garcia A, Maček I, Meier IC, Moora M, Poppeliers SM, Rousk J, Janssens IA, Goebel M (in prep.) Seasons underground: intra-annual variation in soil biological processes.


Guerrero-Ramírez N, Mommer L, Freschet GT, Iversen CM, McCormack ML, Kattge J, Poorter H, van der Plas F, Bergmann J, Kuyper TW, York LM, Bruehlheide H, Laughlin DC, Meier IC, Roumet C, Semchenko M, Sweeney CJ, van Ruijven J, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Aubin I, Catford JA, Manning P, Martin A, Milla R, Minden V, Pausas JG, Smith SW, Soudzilovskaia NA, Ammer C, Butterfield B, Craine JM, Cornelissen JHC, de Vries FT, Marney I, Kramer K, König C, Lamb E, Onipchenko VG, Peñuelas J, Reich PB, Rillig MC, Sack L, Shipley B, Tedersoo L, Valladares F, van Bodegom P, Weigelt P, Wright J, Weigelt A (2021) Global root traits (GRooT) database. Global Ecology and Biogeography 30:25-37.

Köhler J, Yang N, Pena R, Polle A, Meier IC* (2021) Drought deteriorates the N stoichiometry of biomass production in European beech saplings under global change. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change | Forest Ecophysiology 4:647360

Laughlin DC, Mommer L, Sabatini FM, Bruelheide H, Kuyper TW, McCormack ML, Bergmann J, Freschet GT, Guerrero-Ramírez NR, Iversen CM, Kattge J, Meier IC, Poorter H, Roumet C, Semchenko M, Sweeney CJ, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, van der Plas F, van Ruijven J, York LM, Aubin I, Burge OR, Byun C, Ćušterevska R, Dengler J, Forey E, Guerin GR, Hérault B, Jackson RB, Karger DN, Lenoir J, Lysenko T, Meir P, Niinemets Ü, Ozinga WA, Peñuelas J, Reich PB, Schmidt M, Schrodt F, Velázquez E, Weigelt A (2021) Root traits explain plant species distributions along climatic gradients yet challenge the nature of ecological trade-offs. Nature Ecology & Evolution 5:1123-1134.

Prescott CE, Grayston SJ, Helmisaari H-S, Kaštovská E, Körner C, Lambers H, Meier IC, Millard P, Ostonen I (2021) Rhizosphere ‘trade’ is an unnecessary analogy: response to Noë. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 36:176-177.

Weigelt A, Mommer L, Andraczek K, Iversen CM, Bergmann J, Bruelheide H, Freschet GT, Guerrero-Ramírez N, Kattge J, Kuyper TW, Laughlin DC, Meier IC, van der Plas F, Poorter H, Fan Y, Roumet C, van Ruijven J, Sabatini FM, Semchenko M, Sweeney CJ, Valverde-Barrantes O, York LM, McCormack ML (2021) An integrated framework of plant form and function: The belowground perspective. New Phytologist.


Bergmann J, Weigelt A, van der Plas F, Laughlin DC, Kuyper TW, Guerrero-Ramirez N, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Bruelheide H, Freschet GT, Iversen CM, Kattge J, McCormack ML, Meier IC, Rillig MC, Roumet C, Semchenko M, Sweeney CJ, van Ruijven J, York LM, Mommer L (2020) The fungal collaboration gradient dominates the root economics space in plants. Science Advances 6:eaba375.

Freschet GT, Pagès L, Iversen CM, Comas LH, Rewald B, Roumet C, Klimešová J, Zadworny M, Poorter H, Postma JA, Adams TS, Bagniewska-Zadworna A, Bengough AG, Blancaflor EB, Brunner I, Cornelissen JHC, Garnier E, Gessler A, Hobbie SE, Meier IC, Mommer L, Picon-Cochard C, Rose L, Ryser P, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Soudzilovskaia NA, Stokes A, Sun T, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Weemstra M, Weigelt A, Wurzburger N, York LM, Batterman SA, Gomes de Moraes M, Janeček Š, Lambers H, Salmon V, Tharayil N, McCormack ML (2020) A starting guide to root ecology: strengthening ecological concepts and standardizing root classification, sampling, processing and trait measurements. New Phytologist, in press. HAL, preprint.

Freschet GT, Roumet C, Comas LH, Weemstra M, Bengough AG, Rewald B, Bardgett RD, De Deyn GB, Johnson D, Klimešová J, Lukac M, McCormack ML, Meier IC, Pagès L, Poorter H, Prieto I, Wurzburger N, Zadworny M, Bagniewska-Zadworna A, Blancaflor EB, Brunner I, Gessler A, Hobbie SE, Iversen CM, Mommer L, Picon-Cochard C, Postma JA, Rose L, Ryser P, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Soudzilovskaia NA, Sun T, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Weigelt A, York LM, Noûs C, Stokes A (2020) Root traits as drivers of plant and ecosystem functioning: current understanding, pitfalls and future research needs. New Phytologist, early view.

Meier IC*, Tückmantel T, Heitkötter J, Müller K, Preusser S, Wrobel TJ, Kandeler E, Marschner B, Leuschner C (2020) Root exudation of mature beech forests across a nutrient availability gradient: The role of root morphology and fungal activity. New Phytologist 226:583-594.

Ostonen I, Ven A, Meier IC (2020) Root exudation (in situ). In: Halbritter AH, De Boeck HJ, Eycott AE, Robinson D, Vicca S, Berauer B, Christiansen CT, Estiarte M, Grünzweig JM, Gya R, Hansen K, Jentsch A, Lee H, Linder S, Marshall J, Peñuelas J, Kappel Schmidt I, Reinsch S, Wilfahrt P, Abrantes N, Almagro M, Althuizen I, Barrio IC, Beier C, Beil I, Berg B, Berry C, Birkemoe T, Blonder B, Blume-Werry G, Bohrer G, Campos I, Cernusak L, Chojnicki BH, Cosby J, Dickman LT, Djukic I, Filella I, Fuchslueger L, Gargallo-Garriga A, Gillespie MAK, Goldsmith G, Gough C, Halliday F, Hegeland S-J, Hoch G, Holub P, Jaroszynska F, Johnson DM, Jones SB, Keizer JJ, Klem K, Kreyling J, Kröel-Dulay G, Landhäusser S, Leblans N, Lebron I, Lehmann M, Lembrechts JJ, Lenz A, Linstädter A, Llusià J, Malyshev A, Mänd P, Matheny A, McDowell N, Meier IC, Meinzer FC, Michaletz S, Miller ML, Muffler L, Oravec M, Ostonen I, Porcar-Castell A, Preece C, Prentice C, Radujkovic D, Ravolainen V, Ribbons R, Ruppert JC, Sack L, Sardans J, Schindlbacher A, Schrodt F, Scoffoni C, Sigurdsson BD, Sjuren Konstabo H, Smart S, Smith S, Soper F, Speed J, Steenberg Larsen K, Stuart-Haentjens E, Sverdrup-Thygeson A, Sydenham M, Taghizadeh-Toosi A, TeBeest M, Telford RJ, Tielbörger K, Töpper JP, Urban O, Van der Ploeg M, Van Langenhove L, Večeřová K, Ven A, Verbruggen E, Vik U, Weigel R, Wohlgemuth T, Wood L, Zinnert J, Zurba K, Vandvik V (2020) The handbook for standardised field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate-change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx). Methods in Ecology and Evolution 11:22-37.

Prescott CE, Grayston SJ, Helmisaari H-S, Kaštovská E, Körner C, Lambers H, Meier IC, Millard P, Ostonen I (2020) Surplus carbon drives allocation and plant–soil interactions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 35: 1110-1118.

Rewald B, Ammer C, Hartmann H, Malyshev AV, Meier IC (2020) Editorial: Woody plants and forest ecosystems in a complex world – ecological interactions and physiological functioning above and below ground. Frontiers in Plant Science | Functional Plant Ecology 11:173.


Bakker MR, Brunner I, Ashwood F, Bjarnadottir B, Bolger T, Børja I, Carnol M, Cudlin P, Dalsgaard L, Erktan A, Godbold DL, Kraigher H, Meier IC, Merino-Martín L, Motiejūnaitė J, Mrak T, Oddsdóttir ES, Ostonen I, Pennanen TL, Püttsepp Ü, Suz LM, Vanguelova E, Vesterdal L, Soudzilovskaia NA (2019) Belowground biodiversity relates positively to ecosystem services of European forests. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change | People and Forests 2:6.

Dirks I, Köhler J, Rachmilevitch S, Meier IC* (2019) The phosphorus economy of Mediterranean oak saplings under global change. Special research topic on Woody Plants and Forest Ecosystems in a Complex World - Ecological Interactions and Physiological Functioning Above and Below Ground. Frontiers in Plant Science | Functional Plant Ecology 10:405.

Liese R, Leuschner C, Meier IC* (2019) The effect of drought and season on root life span in temperate arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal tree species. Journal of Ecology 107:2226-2239.

Liese R, Leuschner C, Meier IC* (2019) Data from: The effect of drought and season on root life span in temperate arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal tree species. Dryad Digital Repository.

Meier IC* (Ed., 2019) Rhizosphere Dynamics under Global Change. Special Issue. Forests.

Meier IC, Brunner I, Godbold D, Helmisaari H-S, Ostonen I, Soudzilovskaia N, Prescott C (2019) Roots and rhizospheres in forest ecosystems: recent advances and future challenges. Editorial to Special Issue from the IUFRO 125th anniversary congress. Forest Ecology and Management 431:1-5.

Rewald B, Ammer C, Grams T, Hartmann H, Hoch G, Keiblinger KM, Malyshev A, Meier IC (Eds., 2019) Woody Plants and Forest Ecosystems in a Complex World - Ecological Interactions and Physiological Functioning Above and Below Ground. Research Topic in Frontiers in Plant Science | Functional Plant Ecology from the GfÖ 48th annual meeting.


Baumert VL, Vasilyeva N, Vladimirov AA, Meier IC, Kögel-Knabner I, Mueller CW (2018) Root exudates induce soil macroaggregation facilitated by fungi in subsoil. Special research topic on Rhizosphere Functioning and Structural Development as Complex Interplay between Plants, Microorganisms and Soil Minerals. Frontiers in Environmental Science | Soil Processes 6:140.

Ferlian O, Biere A, Bonfante P, Buscot F, Eisenhauer N, Fernandez I, Hause B, Herrmann S, Krajinski-Barth F, Meier IC, Pozo MJ, Rasmann S, Rillig MC, Tarkka MT, van Dam NM, Wagg C, Martinez-Medina A (2018) Growing research networks on mycorrhizae for mutual benefits. Trends in Plant Science 23:975-984.

Köhler J, Yang N, Pena R, Raghavan V, Polle A, Meier IC* (2018) Ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity increases P uptake efficiency of European beech. Special issue on Cross-Scale Integration of Mycorrhizal Function. New Phytologist 220:1200-1210.

Leuschner C, Meier IC (2018) The ecology of Central European trees: trait spectra, functional trade-offs, and ecological classification of adult trees. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 33:89-103.

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.

Meier IC*, Knutzen F, Eder LM, Müller-Haubold H, Goebel M-O, Bachmann J, Hertel D, Leuschner C (2018) The deep root system of Fagus sylvatica on sandy soil: structure and variation across a precipitation gradient. Ecosystems 21:280-296.


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

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 | Functional Plant Ecology 8:315.

Meier IC (2017) Global Change Ecology: Impacts of Climate Change and the Loss in Biodiversity on Biogeochemical Cycles. Habilitation treatise, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, 470 pp.

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 F1000 Prime

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 Goettingen, 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.




B.Bio.126Mp Tier- und Pflanzenökologie
B.Bio.163 Fachvertiefung Pflanzenökologie
B.Bio.190-2 Wissenschaftliches Projektmanagement
B.Biodiv.333 Spezielle Pflanzenökologie: Wald- und Baumökologie
B.Biodiv.342 Wissenschaftliche Methoden und Projektmanagement
B.Biodiv.360 Klimaerwärmung und Vegetation
B.Mes.109 Plant Ecology and Diversity
B.Mes.307 Research Practicum
B.Mes.308 Scientific Project
B.Mes.309 Practical Training in Laboratory Techniques
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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