Mario Liebergesell

Mario Liebergesell


Tel +49-341-97-38580
Fax +49-341-97-38549
E-mail mario.liebergesell*
Room 222


German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Biodiversity Synthesis
Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig




Since 2016.01


Data- and Database-Manager

Biodiversity Synthesis Group

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany



Since 2014.10


Studies B.A. Philosophy and Cultural Studies

University of Leipzig, Germany


2010.10 - 2015.12


Scientist within the FunDivEUROPE project

Department of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity
University of Leipzig, Germany


2008.10 - 2010.09


Studies M.Sc. Biology with focus on biodiversity research

Department of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity
University of Leipzig, Germany

Thesis: Factors determining the occurrence and performance of Allium ursinum L. in a German floodplain forest.


2005.10 - 2008.09


Studies B.Sc. Biology

Department of General and Applied Botany
University of Leipzig, Germany

Thesis: The influence of soil-algae on the development of higher plants: an in-vitro approach.


teaching experience: plant ecology, mycorrhizal associations, statistical data analysis with R, mentoring trainees and students





FunDivEUROPE - the functional significance of forest biodiversity in Europe


  • synthesizing a trait database for functional characterization of forest stands from 17 open access databases and more than 200 monographic sources (accomplished)
  • designing and planting an arboretum of 100 economically and ecologically important European woody species for fine-root measurements (short description in English, press report in German, presentation board for visitors in German) (accomplished)
  • mapping management effects on forest functional diversity of important European forest types, joint initiative with Sophia Ratcliffe (accomplished)
  • comparing European and North American forest functional diversity (accomplished)
  • finding the correlates of leaf traits and fine root traits in different fine root orders of European trees (in process, joint initiative with Martin Schubert)
  • investigating European forest functional diversity in time: What are the differences between the potential and realized vegetation? (in process, joint initiative with Sophia Ratcliffe)


  • theory in ecology: (functional) biodiversity, biogeography and niches
  • eco-sociology: biodiversity and human well-being
  • multivariate statistics
  • data-gaps and imputation techniques
  • spatial statistics
  • indices of (functional) biodiversity
  • cultural diversity
  • how can we get knowledge of a restricted reality of an obscure world? - epistemology, phenomenology

“This root, on the other hand, existed in such a way that I could not explain it. Knotty, inert, nameless, it fascinated me, filled my eyes, brought me back unceasingly to its own existence. In vain to repeat: ‘This is a root’—it didn't work any more. I saw clearly that you could not pass from its function as a root, as a breathing pump, to that, to this hard and compact skin of a sea lion, to this oily, callous, headstrong look. The function explained nothing: it allowed you to understand generally that it was a root, but not that one at all. This root, with its colour, shape, its congealed movement, was below all explanation.” Sartre, Nausea

  • systems of classification and their restriction in space and time - taxonomies, ontology

"This passage quotes a `certain Chinese encyclopaedia´ in which it is written that `animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumberable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies´. In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that." Foucault, The Order Of Things





Liebergesell M, Reu B, Freiberg M, Welk E, Stahl U, Kattge J, Penuelas J, Cornelissen HC, Wirth C (2016) Functional resilience against climate-driven extinctions - comparing the functional diversity of the European and the North American tree flora. PloS ONE, 11(2)

Ratcliffe S, Liebergesell M, Ruiz-Benito P, Madrigal González J, Munoz Castaneda J, Kändler G, Lehtonen A, Dahlgren J, Kattge J, Penuelas J, Zavala MA, Wirth C (2015) Modes of functional biodiversity control on tree productivity across three biomes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 25:251-262

Baeten L, Verheyen K, Wirth C, Bruelheide H, Bussotti F, Finér L, Jaroszewicz B, Selvi F, Valladares F, Allan E, Ampoorter E, Auge H, Avacariei D, Barbaro L, Barnoaiea I, Bastias CC, Bauhus J, Beinhoff C, Benavides R, Benneter A, Berger S, Berthold F, Boberg J, Bonal D, Brüggemann W, Carnol M, Castagneyrol B, Charbonnier Y, Chec'ko E, Coomes D, Coppi A, Dalmaris E, Danila G, Dawud SM, de Vries W, De Wandeler H, Deconchat M, Domisch T, Duduman G, Fischer M, Fotelli M, Gessler A, Gimeno TE, Granier A, Grossiord C, Guyot V, Hantsch L, Hättenschwiler S, Hector A, Hermy M, Holland V, Jactel H, Joly F-X, Jucker T, Kolb S, Koricheva J, Lexer MJ, Liebergesell M, Milligan H, Müller S, Muys B, Nguyen D, Nichiforel L, Pollastrini M, Proulx R, Rabasa S, Radoglou K, Ratcliffe S, Raulund-Rasmussen K, Seiferling I, Stenlid J, Vesterdal L, von Wilpert K, Zavala MA, Zielinski D, Scherer-Lorenzen M (2013) A novel comparative research platform designed to determine the functional significance of tree species diversity in European forests. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 15(5):281–291


Conference Contributions

Liebergesell M, Reu B, Wirth C (2013) On the glacial extinction hypothesis: Are European forests functionally less diverse than North America? Talk presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ), Potsdam, Germany.

Liebergesell M, Wirth C (2013) Comparing European and North American forest functional diversity. Talk presented at the 2nd annual meeting of the FunDivEurope-project, Florence, Italy.

Liebergesell M, Wirth C (2010) Factors determining the occurrence and performance of Allium ursinum L. in a German floodplain forest. Talk presented at the first floodplain forest seminar, Leipzig, Germany.



Liebergesell M, Reu B, Freiberg M, Welk E, Stahl U, Wirth C (2015) Functional resistance towards climate-driven extinctions - the trait signature of the European and North American tree floras. Poster presented by Christian Wirth at the 7th meeting of the International Biogeography Society (ibs), Bayreuth, Germany.



letzte Änderung: 06.06.2018