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University of Tartu
Plant Ecology Laboratory
employee Martin Zobel Tartu,, Estonia

Professor Martin Zobel

Head of the Plant Ecology Laboratory, professor of plant ecology
Martin.Zobel [ at ]

MartinMy main research topic is the variation of plant diversity and the processes underlying the variability. I try to combine approaches that work at different scales (from the interactions of individuals to the evolutionary history of higher taxa) and focus on different taxonomic groups (plants and mycorrhizal fungi). Besides understanding the fundamental nature of plant and fungal communities, my research addresses the impact of humans on natural community structure and attempts to find useful indicators of this impact. 

I am the editor of the Journal of Vegetation Science and Applied Vegetation Science, council member of the International Association for Vegetation Science, member of Estonian Academy of Sciences and head of the University of Tartu team in the centre of excellence EcolChange (‘Ecology of global change: natural and managed ecosystems’, 2016-2023). I am the principal investigator of the institutional grant IUT 20-28 by Estonian Research Council ‘The role of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) in shaping plant community patterns and plant interactions’ (2014-2019).

My full CV and publication list are available at the Estonian Research Portal.

I am co-supervising doctoral students Siim-Kaarel Sepp and Daniela Leon Velandia.

Selected papers:

  • Zobel, M., Davison, J., Edwards, M.E., Brochmann, C., Coissac, E., Taberlet, P., Willerslev, E., Moora, M., 2018. Ancient environmental DNA reveals shifts in dominant mutualisms during the late Quaternary. Nature Communications 9, 139.
  • Zobel, M. 2016. The species pool concept as a framework for studying patterns of plant diversity. Journal of Vegetation Science 27: 8-18.
  • Fraser, L.H., Pither, J., Jentsch, A., Sternberg, M., Zobel, M., Askarizadeh, D., Bartha, S., Beierkuhnlein, C., Bennett, J.A., Bittel, A., Boldgiv, B., Boldrini, I.I., Bork, E., Brown, L., Cabido, M., Cahill, J., Carlyle, C.N., Campetella, G., Chelli, S., Cohen, O., Csergo, A.-M., Díaz, S., Enrico, L., Ensing, D., Fidelis, A., Fridley, J.D., Foster, B., Garris, H., Goheen, J.R., Henry, H.A.L., Hohn, M., Jouri, M.H., Klironomos, J., Koorem, K., Lawrence-Lodge, R., Long, R., Manning, P., Mitchell, R., Moora, M., Müller, S.C., Nabinger, C., Naseri, K., Overbeck, G.E., Palmer, T.M., Parsons, S., Pesek, M., Pillar, V.D., Pringle, R.M., Roccaforte, K., Schmidt, A., Shang, Z., Stahlmann, R., Stotz, G.C., Sugiyama, S.-i., Szentes, S., Thompson, D., Tungalag, R., Undrakhbold, S., van Rooyen, M., Wellstein, C., Wilson, J.B. & Zupo, T. 2015. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness. Science 349: 302-305.
  • Davison, J., Moora, M., Öpik, M., Adholeya, A., Ainsaar, L., Bâ, A., Burla, S., Diedhiou, A.G., Hiiesalu, I., Jairus, T., Johnson, N.C., Kane,A., Koorem, K., Kochar, M., Ndiaye, C., Pärtel, M., Reier, Ü., Saks, Ü., Singh, R., Vasar, M., Zobel M. 2015. Global assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus diversity reveals very low endemism. Science 349: 970-973.
  • Willerslev E., Davison, J., Moora, M., Zobel, M., Coissac, E., Edwards, M.E., Lorenzen, E.D., Vestergard, M., et al. 2014. Fifty thousand years of Arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet. Nature 506: 47-51.
  • Götzenberger, L., De Bello, F., Brathen, K.A., Davison, J., Dubuis, A., Guisan, A., Leps, J., Lindborg, R., Moora, M., Partel, M., Pellissier, L., Pottier, J., Vittoz, P., Zobel, K. & Zobel, M. 2012. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities-approaches, patterns and prospects. Biological Reviews 87: 111-127.
  • Kalamees, R., Püssa, K., Zobel, K. & Zobel, M.2012. Restoration potential of the persistent soil seed bank in successional calcareous (alvar) grasslands in Estonia. Applied Vegetation Science 15: 208-218.
  • Zobel, M., Otto, R., Laanisto, L., Naranjo-Cigala, A., Pärtel, M. & Fernandez-Palacios, J.M. 2011. The formation of species pools: historical habitat abundance affects current local diversity. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 251-259.