Biodiversity, fluxes, and global changes


ContactRémy Beugnon

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Twitter: @BeugnonRemy


My research

My interest is to understand ecosystem functioning. We are losing species from all phyla in all ecosystems all around the world. However, the consequences of such loss for ecosystem functioning remain unpredictable. Understanding how species interact and how they are linked to their environment is a prerequisite to the understanding of ecosystem functioning and the consequences of species loss.

My Ph.D. was based on a tree Biodiversity Ecosystem Functioning experiment (BEF China), where I was focusing on tree-tree interaction effects on carbon cycling from forest productivity to soil carbon storage through its effects on microbial community and litter decomposition. I am doing this work as part of the TreeDì doctoral school which is aiming to understand tree – tree interactions in Chinese subtropical forest within the BEF China platform.

Following the latest results of my thesis, my current project SoilDivTemp is aiming to understand how vegetation diversity is modulating temperature and the consequences for soil functions at the global scale.


My project in Bioflux

The SoilDivTemp project aims to quantify and understand the vegetation diversity buffering of soil temperature fluctuations. This project is based on the international SoilTemp consortium compiling soil temperature measurements from around the world, biomes and ecosystems.


The frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, such as heatwaves and droughts, are increasing with global warming, threatening humanity and other life on Earth. For example, belowground communities and functions are highly sensitive to changes in microclimatic conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity, Gottschall et al., 2019; Cesarz et al., 2020). Yet, vegetation has shown its potential to mitigate external macroclimatic fluctuations by means of buffering processes, assuring smooth transitions between macro- and microclimatic conditions (de Frenne et al., 2019, 2021). Moreover, higher vegetation diversity has been shown to increase primary productivity and the length of the vegetation period (Huang et al., 2017, 2018; Sapijanskas et al., 2014). Therefore, vegetation diversity is expected to increase the macroclimate buffering effect and thus protect belowground communities and functions from dramatic external climatic changes (Gottschall et al., 2019). Here, we propose to quantify the effect of vegetation cover on climatic buffering across ecosystems and seasons using the SoilTemp database and remote-sensing measurements (e.g., NDVI, spectral diversity) as proxies of vegetation diversity. In addition, we propose to quantify the effect of vegetation diversity on climatic buffering across ecosystems across the globe using the SoilTemp database and associated vegetation surveys. In particular, we here aim to understand the mechanisms behind climate buffering of vegetation diversity by investigating the roles of primary productivity and vegetations' spatial and temporal complementarity.


Our main hypothesis is that plant diversity can buffer temperature fluctuations (Fig. 1) and extreme climatic events (Fig. 2), and therefore, reduce the effects of climate change on ecosystems. We are testing this hypothesis using both experiments where diversity is manipulated; such as BEF China and The Jena Experiment; and natural field measurements with the SoilTemp consortium datasets.

Figure 1: climate buffering by plant diversity

Figure 1

Figure 2: climatic extreme buffering by plant diversity

Figure 2


Coming soon

Beugnon, Rémy; Eisenhauer, Nico; Bruelheide, Helge; Davrinche, Andréa; Du, Jianqing; Haider, Sylvia; Haehn, Georg; Saadani, Mariem; Singavarapu, Bala; Sünnemann, Marie; Thouvenot, Lise; Wang, Yanfen; Wubet, Tesfaye; Xue, Kai; Cesarz, Simone (under review): Tree diversity effects on litter decomposition are mediated by litterfall and microbial processes.

Schnabel, Florian†; Beugnon, Rémy†; Bo, Yang†; Castro Izaguirre, Nadia Cristina; Cesarz, Simone; Eisenhauer, Nico; Garcia, Maria Dolores Perles; Haehn, Georg; Härdtle, Werner; Huang, Yuanyuan; Kunz, Matthias; Liu, Xiaojuan; Niklaus, Pascal A.; von Oheimb, Goddert; Pietsch, Katherina A.; Richter, Ronny; Schmid, Bernhard; Trogisch, Stefan; Wirth, Christian; Ma, Keping & Bruelheide Helge (in prep.): The role of tree species richness for temperature buffering below forest canopies.


Singavarapu, Bala, Du, Jianqing, Beugnon, Rémy, Cesarz, Simone, Eisenhauer, Nico, Xue, Kai, Wang, Yanfen, Bruelheide, Helge, & Wubet, Tesfaye (2023). Functional Potential of Soil Microbial Communities and Their Subcommunities Varies with Tree Mycorrhizal Type and Tree Diversity. Microbiology Spectrum, 0(0), e04578-22. DOI: 10.1128/spectrum.04578-22


Beugnon, Rémy; Bu, Wensheng; Bruelheide, Helge; Davrinche, Andréa; Du, Jianqing; Haider, Sylvia; Kunz, Matthias; von Oheimb, Goddert; Perles-Garcia, Maria D.; Saadani, Mariem; Scholten, Thomas; Seitz, Steffen; Singavarapu, Bala; Trogisch, Stefan; Wang, Yanfen; Wubet, Tesfaye; Xue, Kai; Yang, Bo; Cesarz, Simone & Eisenhauer, Nico (2022): Abiotic and biotic drivers of tree trait effects on soil microbial biomass and soil carbon concentration. Ecological Monographs. DOI: 10.1002/ecm.1563

Eisenhauer, Nico; Bender, S. Franz; Calderón Sanou, Irene; de Vries, Franciska T.; Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Thuiller, Wilfried; Wall, Diana H.; Zeiss, Romy; Bahram, Mohammad; Beugnon, Rémy ... Guerra, Carlos A.; Potapov Anton (2022): Frontiers in soil ecology—Insights from the World Biodiversity Forum 2022. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment. DOI: 10.1002/sae2.12031

Beugnon, Rémy; Jochum, Malte; Phillips, Helen (2022) SOIL BIODIVERSITY. Frontiers for Young Minds. DOI:


Beugnon Rémy, Ladouceur Emma, Sünnemann Marie, Cesarz Simone, Eisenhauer Nico (2021). Diverse forests are cool: Promoting diverse forests to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment. DOI: 10.1002/sae2.12005

Beugnon Rémy (2021). Ph.D. thesis: From trees to soil: microbial and spatial mediation of tree diversity effects on carbon cycling in subtropical Chinese forests. PDF

Beugnon Rémy, Du Jianqing, Cesarz Simone, Jurburg Stephanie D., Pang Zhe, Singavarapu Bala, Wubet Tesfaye, Xue Kai, Wang Yanfen, Eisenhauer Nico (2021). Tree diversity and soil chemical properties drive the linkages between soil microbial community and ecosystem functioning. ISME Communications (1). DOI: 10.1038/s43705-021-00040-0

Singavarapu Bala, Beugnon Rémy, Bruelheide Helge, Cesarz Simone, Du Jianqing, Eisenhauer Nico, Guo Liang-Dong, Nawaz Ali, Wang Yanfen, Xue Kai, Wubet Tesfaye (2021). Tree mycorrhizal type and tree diversity shape the forest soil microbiota. Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.15690

Phillips Helen R. P., et al (2021). Global data on earthworm abundance, biomass, diversity and corresponding environmental properties. Scientific Data (8). DOI: 10.1038/s41597-021-00912-z

Thouvenot Lise, Ferlian Olga, Beugnon Rémy, Kuenne Tom, Lochner Alfred, Thakur Madhav P., Tueke Manfred, Eisenhauer Nico (2021). Do Invasive Earthworms Affect the Functional Traits of Native Plants?. Frontiers in Plant Science (12). DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.627573


Cesarz Simone, Schulz Annika Eva, Beugnon Rémy, Eisenhauer Nico (2019). Testing soil nematode extraction efficiency using different variations of the Baermann-funnel method. Soil Organisms (91). DOI: 10.25674/so91201

Beugnon Rémy, Steinauer Katja, Barnes Andrew D., Ebeling Anne, Roscher Christiane, Eisenhauer Nico (2019). Chapter Five - Plant functional trait identity and diversity effects on soil meso- and macrofauna in an experimental grassland. Advances in Ecological Research (61). DOI: 10.1016/bs.aecr.2019.06.004



Professional experiences:

March 2022 – Now

Position: postdoctoral research position

@: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Experimental Interaction Ecology group, Leipzig, Germany

@: Leipzig Institut for Meteorological research

@: Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE) - Eq. Bioflux

Focus: From trees to soil: microbial and spatial mediation of tree diversity effects on carbon cycling in subtropical Chinese forests.


July 2018 – March 2022

Position: doctoral research position

@: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Experimental Interaction Ecology group, Leipzig, Germany

Focus: From trees to soil: microbial and spatial mediation of tree diversity effects on carbon cycling in subtropical Chinese forests.


January 2018 – June 2018

Position: Master’s student

@:BioDiCée lab, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM) – MONTPELLIER (France)

Focus: Modelling of non-trophic interactions effects on plants communities.


April 2017– July 2017

Position: intern

@: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) – UMEÅ (Sweden)

Focus: Root trait effects of alpine plant communities on plant-soil feedback effects performed in two greenhouse experiments.



July 2018 – March 2022

Ph. D. Thesis

@: Leipzig University – LEIPZIG (Germany)

Focus: From trees to soil: microbial and spatial mediation of tree diversity effects on carbon cycling in subtropical Chinese forests.


September 2017 – June 2018

Master’s degree in Biology, Ecology and Evolution (B2E-DARWIN)

@: Montpellier University – MONTPELLIER (France)

Focus: Fundamental Ecology, Functional Ecology, Climate change, Animal behaviour, Evolutive Biology, Biostatistics, Modelling.


February 2016 – June 2016

Erasmus exchange semester

@: SGGW - WULS – WARSAW (Poland)

Focus: Soil ecology, water microbiology, grassland ecology


September 2014 – November 2018

Agricultural engineering diploma

@: Montpellier SupAgro – MONTPELLIER (France)

Focus: With ecology lectures and laboratory technique practices


Cited literature

Cesarz, S., Craven, D., Auge, H., Bruelheide, H., Castagneyrol, B., Hector, A., Jactel, H., Koricheva, J., Messier, C., Muys, B., O’Brien, M. J., Paquette, A., Ponette, Q., Potvin, C., Reich, P. B., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Smith, A. R., Verheyen, K., & Eisenhauer, N. (2020). Biotic and abiotic drivers of soil microbial functions across tree diversity experiments. BioRXiv.

de Frenne, P., Lenoir, J., Luoto, M., Scheffers, B. R., Zellweger, F., Aalto, J., Ashcroft, M. B., Christiansen, D. M., Decocq, G., de Pauw, K., Govaert, S., Greiser, C., Gril, E., Hampe, A., Jucker, T., Klinges, D. H., Koelemeijer, I. A., Lembrechts, J. J., Marrec, R., … Hylander, K. (2021). Forest microclimates and climate change: Importance, drivers and future research agenda. Global Change Biology, 27(11), 2279–2297.

de Frenne, P., Zellweger, F., Rodríguez-Sánchez, F., Scheffers, B. R., Hylander, K., Luoto, M., Vellend, M., Verheyen, K., & Lenoir, J. (2019). Global buffering of temperatures under forest canopies. Ecology and Evolution, 3, 744–749.

Gottschall, F., Davids, S., Newiger-Dous, T. E., Auge, H., Cesarz, S., & Eisenhauer, N. (2019). Tree species identity determines wood decomposition via microclimatic effects. Ecology and Evolution, 9(21), 12113–12127.

Huang, Y., Chen, Y., Castro-Izaguirre, N., Baruffol, M., Brezzi, M., Lang, A., Li, Y., Härdtle, W., von Oheimb, G., Yang, X., Liu, X., Pei, K., Both, S., Yang, B., Eichenberg, D., Assmann, T., Bauhus, J., Behrens, T., Buscot, F., … Schmid, B. (2018). Impacts of species richness on productivity in a large-scale subtropical forest experiment. Science (New York, N.Y.), 362(6410), 80–83.

Huang, Y., Ma, Y., Zhao, K., Niklaus, P. A., Schmid, B., & He, J.-S. (2017). Positive effects of tree species diversity on litterfall quantity and quality along a secondary successional chronosequence in a subtropical forest. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10(1), 28–35.

Sapijanskas, J., Paquette, A., Potvin, C., Kunert, N., & Loreau, M. (2014). Tropical tree diversity enhances light capture through crown plasticity and spatial and temporal niche differences. Ecology, 95(9), 2479–2492.