Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Welcome ... the Plant Ecology group website, led by Prof. Dr. Katja Tielbörger! Here you can find information to our main research topics, our teaching, our staff, job announcements and news. Ms Tielbörger is also head of the Botanical Garden.

If you want to get us to know us better, join one of our regular group seminars which we host together with the Plant Evolutionary Ecology group! We are presenting our work in these seminars and provide you with an insight into the highly active and diverse range of research topics of the plant ecology department.

Enjoy exploring our website and feel free to contact anyone if you are interested in finding out more about any particular topics, or if you want to pay us a visit. Subscribe to our Email newsletter.

New Publications

27.08.2020 ► Ecology Letters: Rapid adaptive evolution to drought in a subset of plant traits in a large-scale climate change experiment. Metz J., Lampei Ch., Bäumler L., Bocherens H., Dittberner H., Henneberg L., de Meaux J. and Tielbörger K. 2020.

21.07.2020 ► Journal of Ecology: Communityscale effects and strain: Facilitation beyond conspicuous patterns. Liancourt P., Dolezal J. 2020;00:1–7.

21.05.2020 ► Nature communications : Density-dependence tips the change of plant–plant interactions under environmental stress. Zhang R. and Tielbörger K. 2020:

19.05.2020 ► Journal of Systematics and Evolution: Equivocal evidence for a change in balance between selfing and pollinator‐mediated reproduction in annual Brassicaceae growing along a rainfall gradient. Gibson-Forty E.V.J., Tielbörger K. and Seifan M. 2020.

12.05.2020 ELSEVIER, Trends in Ecology & Evolution: Plant Secondary Compounds in Soil and Their Role in Belowground Species Interactions. Bodil K. Ehlers, Matty P. Berg, Michael Staudt, Martin Holmstrup, Marianne Glasius, Jacintha Ellers, Sara Tomiolo, René B. Madsen, Stine Slotsbo, and Josep Penuelas. 2020:

22.04.2020 ► Global Change Biology: Plant's eye view of temperature governs elevational distributions. Liancourt P., Song X., Macek M., Santrucek J., Dolezal J. 2020:

20.04.2020 ► Global Change Biology : SoilTemp: a global database of near-surface temperature. Lembrechts J., Aalto J., Ashcroft M., De Frenne P., Kobecký M., Lenoir J., Luto M., Maclean I., [...] Tielbörger K., van den Brink L., [...] 2020.

14.04.2020 ► ELSEVIER : White clover population effects on the productivity and yield stability of mixtures with perennial ryegrass and chicory. Heshmati S., Tonn B., Isselstein J.. 2020.

21.07.2020 ► Journal of Ecology: Communityscale effects and strain: Facilitation beyond conspicuous patterns. Liancourt P., Dolezal J. 2020;00:1–7.


Prof. Dr. Katja Tielbörger
+49 (0)7071 29-74246



Daniela Schloz 
+49 (0)7071 29-73235
(Fax -5356)

Mo, Tue, Thu, We: 9.00-12.00
Mo, Fr: 13.00-15.00



Plant Ecology
Inst of Evolution & Ecology
University of Tübingen
Auf der Morgenstelle 5
D-72076 Tübingen



New publication in Ecology Letters!


Katja just published a new study showing that plants may rapidly adapt to climate change, albeit not in all relevant traits. So the message is not entirely optimistic.

Press release University of Tuebingen



Ruichang's and Katja's new study now published in Nature Communications! They present a model and an experiment which manage to combine competition and facilitation theory in a common framework. Read here, when and why the stress gradient hypothesis applies and why a dense neighbourhood is not always negative for plant performance:

Press release University of Tuebingen

Planet Wissen


Katja Tielbörger is talking on Planet Wissen about the fascinating research on smart plants: plants warn each other of enemies, ally themselves with helpful bacteria and fungi, use insects and other animals for reproduction and use chemical weapons for defence. Plants can make decisions and it seems that they can even learn.

New colleague in the NamTip project


Welcome to Dr. Sara Heshmati, PostDoc in the NamTip project and based in Tübingen. Sara an Iranian national with experience in ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems has joined the project team on a two year contract.

SWR interview on smart plants


Quarks, SWR interview on smart plants, this is in German and a series of interviews with different scientist, Katja is featured at around 21 minutes and 45 seconds of this podcast.