Dr. Leonardo Teixeira

Lehrstuhl für Renaturierungsökologie

Emil-Ramann-Strasse 6
85354 Freising

Telefon/Phone:+49 8161 71 4141
Fax:+49 8161 71 4143
email:leonardo.teixeira[at]tum.de

Curriculum vitae

seit 05/2017 Postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Restoration Ecology, Research Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Freising, Germany
05/2013 - 05/2017 PhD in Ecology, Department of Ecology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil Thesis on the restoration of plant diversity and the functioning of restored ecosystems
04/2016 - 04/2017 Visiting PhD student at the Chair of Restoration Ecology, Research Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Freising, Germany
08/2013 - 04/2014 Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Development and Environment (IDEMA/RN), Natal/RN, Brazil
10/2013 - 01/2014 Visiting PhD student at the Chair of Restoration Ecology (TUM), Freising, Germany
07/2012 - 07/2013 Research assistant at the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (LEA/UFRN), Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil
03/2010 - 07/2012 Master of Science in Ecology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil Thesis on the use of facilitation as a technique for restoring coastal dunes vegetation
04/2008 - 10/2009 Internship at the Municipal Department for Environment and Urbanism, Natal/RN, Brazil
08/2007 - 09/2009 Internship at the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory (LEA/UFRN), Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brazil
09/2003 - 09/2009 Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal/RN, Brasil Thesis on the effects of exotic omnivorous filter-feeding fish on water quality
12/2000 High school diploma, Technical School ‘Vasco Antônio Venchiarutti’ (ETECVAV), São Paulo, Brazil

Restoration of invaded grasslands in a changing world: Impacts of invasive plants and climate change on ecosystem functioning

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Johannes Kollmann (TUM)

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) studies provide ample evidence that plant diversity controls the ecological functions and services provided by many ecosystems, and, thus, positively contribute to human welfare. Therefore, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning studies are crucial for understanding anthropogenic impacts on natural ecosystems and for predicting future scenarios, allowing scientists and stakeholders to adopt new strategies for reducing the risks of loosing ecosystem functions and services that are important for human wellbeing. Indeed, there are two main threats to ecosystem health and stability, i.e. habitat loss and invasive alien species (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005; CBD 2010). Both threats can positively interact, thus amplifying anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems. Land transformation and the consequential destruction of habitats by human activities will negatively affect native species diversity, while making ecosystems less stable and less resistant to invasions. Then, invaded ecosystems will be modified by the impacts of alien species on native community dynamics. The effects of the invader on native species occurrence and abundance, community composition and ecosystems properties will, ultimately, favour further invasions.

Recent studies performed around the world have shown that climate changes might have a more drastic effect on species diversity and distribution, ecosystem stability and human wellbeing than invasive species. Furthermore, climate changes can increase the range of alien species distribution across regions or even continents. Ultimately, climate changes would favour invasion success by compromising native species diversity and increasing ecosystem susceptibility to invaders. Despite all the impacts on natural ecosystems resulting from anthropogenic activities, we can understand such scenarios as opportunities for building solid knowledge on how to cope with the challenges arising in a human-dominated world. In fact, more fundamental conclusions about the functioning of ecosystems might be reached by combining different levels and aspects of diversity with different stressors in experimental communities. Particularly, functions related to future scenarios of land transformation, habitat loss, invasions and climate changes. Therefore, it is imperative to design and to test new strategies for the restoration of invaded ecosystems in face of climate change scenarios.

The project investigates how different community compositions (e.g. by the manipulation of the relative abundances of dominant and subordinate species) can be applied to improve restoration success and the functioning of restored ecosystems, mainly related to soil nutrient dynamics and resistance to invasive species. For this, we perform experiments in climate chambers (TUMmesa) testing the effects of the competitive hierarchies of plants for the resistance of grassland communities to the impacts of the invasive species Solidago gigantea on the soil nutrients and on the native plants biomass production. The main focus here is to monitor and to evaluate the functioning of restored ecosystems. These investigations can support management plans for degraded and invaded sites, thus contributing to the reduction of invasive species prevalence and its impacts on grasslands ecosystem functioning, because the most important roles for the biological resistance of native communities seem to be performed by dominant species, i.e. the dominance hierarchy hypothesis.

Selected publications

  • Teixeira, L. H., Weisser, W.W. & Ganade, G. (2016) Facilitation and sand burial affect plant survival during restoration of a tropical coastal sand dune degraded by tourist cars. Restoration Ecology, 24, 390–397.  
  • Teixeira, L.H. & Attayde, J.L. (2015) Synergistic effects between omnivorous filter-feeding fish and nutrient enrichment on algal biomass. Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia, 27, 223–227.

  • Teixeira, Leonardo H.; Yannelli, Florencia A.; Attayde, José L., Kollmann, Johannes; Ganade, Gislene. Functional diversity and invasive species moderate soil fertility in grassland mesocosms. Basic and Applied Ecology. Under review.

  • Dantas, DDF; Rubim, PL; Oliveira, FA; Costa, MRA; Moura, CGB; Teixeira, LH; Attayde, JL. Effects of a benthivorous and a planktivorous fish on the phosphorus cycling, phytoplankton biomass and water transparency of a tropical shallow lake. Hydrobiologia. Under review.
  • Teixeira, L.H. & Fernandes, L.R. (2011) Multitemporal analyses of the vegetation cover of coastal sand dune ecosystems in Natal/RN, based on NDVI index. In: XV Simpósio
    Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto 2011, Curitiba INPE, 1895–1901.