Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Dictmanus albus [(c) Christian Ristok]

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Research & Publications


I am an enthusiastic plant ecologist interested in novel approaches to above- and belowground plant-environment interactions. I seek to understand how those interactions can be applied to retain and/or improve terrestrial ecosystems, especially (semi-)natural grasslands in temperate and high latitude and altitude systems.

My research focus is on plant ecology, population genetics and landscape genomics in conservation relevant contexts. I like to combine field work and laboratory work at multiple ecological scales (populations, individuals, genetics) to obtain an overview from different perspectives of plant communities and individuals.

Currently, I am working on the heterostylous grassland plant Primula veris (cowslip) in a population ecological context. Besides, I am the German main coordinator of the international Citizen Science campaign “Looking for cowslips” (   ). See the animation "Europe is looking for cowslips" here   .



Van Geel, M, Aavik, T, Ceulemans, T, Träger, S, Mergeay, J, Peeters, G, van Acker, K, Zobel, M, Koorem, K, Honnay, O (accepted). The role of genetic diversity and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity on population recovery of Succisa pratensis. BMC Ecology and Evolution (BioRxiv preprint doi: 10.1101/2021.08.05.455236)

Aavik, T, Träger, S, Zobel, M, Honnay, O, Van Geel, M, Bueno, G, Koorem, K (2021). The joint effect of host plant genetic diversity and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities on restoration success. Functional Ecology, 00, 1-14. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.13914

Carmona, CP, Bueno, CG, Toussaint, A, Träger, S, Díaz, S, Moora, M, Munson, A, Pärtel, M, Zoobel, M, Tamme, R (2021). Fine-root traits in the global spectrum of plant form and function. Nature, 597, 683-687. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03871-y

Reinula, I, Träger, S, Hernández-Agramonte, IM, Helm, A, Aavik, T (2021). The impact of landscape change on the genetic diversity of the grassland plant Primula veris. Diversity and Distributions. doi: 10.1111/ddi.13357

Träger, S, Rellstab, C, Reinula, I, Zemp, N, Helm, A, Holderegger, R, Aavik, T (2021, pre-print). Genetic diversity at putatively adaptive but not neutral loci in Primula veris responds to recent habitat change in semi-natural grasslands. BioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2021.05.12.442254


Aavik, T, Carmona, CP, Träger, S, Kaldra, M, Reinula, I, Conti, E, Keller, B, Helm, A, Hiiesalu, I, Hool, K, Kaisel, M, Oja, T, Lotman, S, Pärtel, M (2020). Landscape context and plant population size affect morph frequencies in heterostylous Primula veris - results of a nationwide citizen-science campaign. Journal of Ecology, 0, 1-15. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13488

Hannula, SE, Träger, S (2020). Soil fungal guilds as important drivers of the plant richness- productivity relationship. New Phytologist, 226, 1129-1143. doi: 10.1111/nph.16523


Aavik, T, Thetloff, M, Träger, S, Hernández-Agramonte, IM, Reinula, I, Pärtel, M (2019). Delayed and immediate effects of habitat loss on the genetic diversity of the grassland plant Trifolium montanum. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28, 3299-3319. doi: 10.1007/s10531-019-01822-8.

Träger, S, Öpik, M, Vasar, M, Wilson, SD (2019). Belowground plant parts are crucial for comprehensively estimating total plant richness in herbaceous and woody habitats. Ecology, 100, e02575. doi: 10.1002/ecy.2575


Träger, S, Milbau, A, Wilson, SD (2017). Potential contributions of root decomposition to the nitrogen cycle in arctic forest and tundra. Ecology and Evolution, 7, 11021–11032. doi: 10.1002/ece3.3522

Träger, S, Wilson, SD (2017). Root heterogeneity along an arctic elevational gradient: the importance of resolution. Functional Ecology, 31, 480-487. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12721


Rosche, C, Schrieber, K, Hirsch, H, Blachnik, T, Träger, S, Richter, F, Seidler, G, Hensen, I (2014). Sexuelle Reproduktion und klonales Wachstum in kleinen Populationen von Antennaria dioica (L.) GAERTNER, Hercynia N.F. 47: 59-86