Max Planck Gesellschaft

--- Former member ---

Franziska Schrodt

room: C1.014 (tower)
phone: +49 3641 576288
email: fschrodt(at)

Research Interests:

My work focuses on the application of machine learning and non-linear statistical tools to study biogeochemical patterns. I am especially interested in plant functional trait - environment correlations and associated implications for ecosystem structure and functioning. I am currently working on global and european scales but, following my PhD research, remain interested in processes in tropical ecosystems, especially the transition between tropical forests and savannas.

Current Projects:

I am affiliated with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the MPI for Biogeochemistry, working on gap-filling of large ecological databases, upscaling of plant functional traits and the analysis of environment - function relationships (iTRY-Europe). I also continue to be involved in the NERC (UK) funded TROBIT project (

Peer-reviewed publications:

F. Schrodt, J. Kattge, H. Shan, F. Fazayeli, A. Karpatne, A. Banerjee, M. Reichstein, M. Boenisch, S. Díaz, J. Dickie, A. Gillison, V. Kumar, S. Lavorel, P.W. Leadley, C. Wirth, I. Wright, S.J. Wright, P.B. Reich (submitted to Global Ecology and Biogeography) HPMF – a hierarchical Bayesian approach to gap-filling and trait prediction. ''
E. M. Veenendaal, M. Torello-Raventos, T. R. Feldpausch, T. F. Domingues, F. Gerard, F. Schrodt, G. Saiz, C. A. Quesada, G. Djagbletey, A. Forest, J. Kemp, B. S. Marimon, B. H. Marimon-Junior, E. Lenza, J. A. Ratter, L. Maracahipes, D. Sasaki, B. Sonke, L. Zapfack, D. Villarroel, M. Schwarz, F. Y. Ishida, M. Gilpin, G. B. Nardoto, K. Affum-Baffoe, L. Arroyo, K. Bloomfield, G. Ceca, H. Compaore, K. Davies, A. Diallo, N. M. Fyllas, J. Gignoux, F. Hien, M. Johnson, E. Mougin, P. Hiernaux, T. Killeen, D. Metcalfe, H. S. Miranda, M. Steininger, K. Sykora, M. I. Bird, J. Grace, S. Lewise, O. I. Phillips, J. Lloyd (submitted to Journal of Ecology) In situ studies of structural, physiognomic and floristic variations across savanna-forest boundaries on three continents. Gradual transition of alternative stable states?
F. Schrodt, T. F. Domingues, T. R. Feldpausch, G. Saiz, C. A. Quesada, M. Schwarz, F. Y. Ishida, H. Compaore, A. Diallo, G. Djagbletey, F. Hieng, P. Hiernaux, E. Mougin, B. Sonké, L. Zapfack, M. I. Bird, S. L. Lewis, O.L. Phillips, E. M. Veenendaal, J. Lloyd (2014) Foliar trait contrasts between African forest and savanna trees: Intrinsic versus environmental effects. Functional Plant Biology online early
G. B. Nardoto, C. A. Quesada, S. Patiño, G. Saiz, T. R. Baker, M. Schwarz, F. Schrodt, T. R. Feldpausch, T. F. Domingues, B. S. Marimon, B.-H. Marimon Junior, I. C. G. Vieira, M. Silveira, M. I. Bird, O. L. Phillips, J. Lloyd and L. A. Martinelli (2013) Basin-wide variations in Amazon forest nitrogencycling characteristics as inferred from plant and soil 15N/14N measurements. Plant Ecology and Diversity 27 (3): 439 - 440
K. Peh, F. Schrodt (2013) Application of Lessons from the Eurozone Crisis to Climate Change. Conservation Biology in print
M. Torello-Raventos, T. Feldpausch, E.Veenendaal, F. Schrodt, G. Saiz, T. F. Domingues, G. Djagbletey, A. Ford, J. Kemp, B. S. Marimon, B.-H. Marimon Junior, J. A. Ratter, L. Maracahipes, D. Sasaki, B. Sonké, L. Zapfack, D. Villarroel, M. Schwarz, C. A. Quesada, F. Y. Ishida, L. A. Martinelli, G. B. Nardoto, K. Affum-Baffoe, L. Arroyo, D. M. J. S. Bowman, H.Compaore, K. Davies, A. Diallo, N. M. Fyllas, M. Gilpin, F. Hien, M.. Johnson, T. J. Killeen, D. Metcalfe, H. S. Miranda, M. Steininger, J. Thomson, K. Sykora, M. I. Bird, J. Grace, S. Lewis, O. L. Phillips and J. Lloyd (2013) On the delineation of tropical vegetation types with an emphasis on forest/savannah transitions. Plant Ecology and Diversity 6 (1): 101 - 137
H. Shan, J. Kattge, P. Reich, A. Banerjee, 'F. Schrodt', M. Reichstein (2012) Gap Filling in the Plant Kingdom – Trait Prediction Using Hierarchical Probabilistic Matrix Factorization. Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2012)
G. Saiz, M. Bird, T. Domingues, F. Schrodt, M. Schwarz, T. Feldpausch, E. Veenendaal, G. Djagbletey, F. Hien, H. Compaore, A. Diallo, and J. Lloyd (2012) Variation in soil carbon stocks and their determinants across a precipitation gradient in West Africa. Global Change Biology 18 (5): 1670 - 1683
T. R. Feldpausch, L. Banin, O. L. Phillips, T. R. Baker, S. L. Lewis, C. A. Quesada, K. Affum-Baffoe, E. J. M. M. Arets, N. J. Berry, M. Bird, E. S. Brondizio, P. de Camargo, J. Chave, G. Djagbletey, T. F. Domingues, M. Drescher, P. M. Fearnside, M. B. Franca, N. M. Fyllas, G. Lopez-Gonzalez, A. Hladik, N. Higuchi, M. O. Hunter, Y. Iida, K. Abu Silam, A. R. Kassim, M. Keller, J. Kemp, D. A. King, J. C. Lovett, B. S. Marimon, B. H. Marimon-Junior, A. R. Marshall, D. J. Metcalfe, E. T. Mitchard, E. F. Moran, B. W. Nelson, R. Nilus, E. M. Nogueira, E. Lenza, M. Palace, S. Patiňo, K. S.-H. Peh, M. T. Raventos, J. M. Reitsma, G. Saiz, F. Schrodt, B. Sonké, H. E. Taedoumg, S. Tan, L. White, H. Wöll, and J. Lloyd (2010) Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees. Biogeosciences 8: 1-26
T.F. Domingues, P. Meir, T.R Feldpausch, G. Saiz, E.M. Veenendaal, F. Schrodt, M. Bird, G. Djagbletey, F. Hien, H. Compaore, A. Diallo, J. Grace, J. Lloyd (2010) Co-limitation of photosynthetic capacity by nitrogen and phosphorus in West Africa woodlands. Plant, Cell & Environment 33 (6): 959-980
F. Schrodt, E. Simelton (2009) The day after Copenhagen – Food safety and international security. Royal United Services Institute Newsbrief 29 (9): 24-26
A.E. Newhouse, F. Schrodt, H. Liang, C.A. Maynard, W.A. Powell (2007) Transgenic American elm shows reduced Dutch elm disease symptoms and normal mycorrhizal colonization. Plant Cell Reports 29 (7): 977-987

Book chapters:

F. Schrodt (2013) Sudanian Savanna. In: Warren, Robert (ed.) Encyclopedia of Ecosystems, vol.4: 1183 – 1185, Salem Press, Ipswich, MA.
A.E. Newhouse, F. Schrodt, C.A Maynard, W.A. Powell (2005) American Elm (Ulmus americana) In: Wang, Kan (ed.) Agrobacterium Protocols, ed.2, vol. 2: 99-112, Humana Press, Totowa, USA.

Conference contributions:

Functional diversity – ecosystem property relationships across Europe. 8th Annual Meeting of the Specialist Group for Macroecology of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (GfÖ), Halle (DE) 04-06 March, 2014
Probabilistic matrix completion and spatial extrapolation in the context of plant functional trait databases. INTECOL, London (UK) 19-23 August, 2013
Filling gaps in large ecological databases: consequences for the study of global-scale plant functional trait patterns. EGU general assembly, Vienna (AU) 7-12 April, 2013
A multivariate approach to filling gaps in large ecological data sets using probabilistic matrix factorization techniques. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco (USA) 3-7 December 2012
TROBIT - Pantropical biogeochemical comparisons of forest-savanna zones of transition. Colloquium at the Max-Planck institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena (DE) 12 January 2012
Structural and physiological contrasts between tropical forest and savanna trees within their transitional zones: Results from Africa, South America and Australia. EGU general assembly, Vienna (AU) 3-8 April, 2011
DET and DGT in undisturbed tropical soils – methodological considerations and practical implications. Conference on DGT and the Environment, Santa Margherita di Pula (IT) 7-9 October, 2009
Pantropical variations in plant functional traits across forest-savanna zones of tension. British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, University of Hertfordshire (UK) 8-10 September, 2009
In-situ measurement of plant available nutrients in tropical savanna and forest soils – correlations with plant functional traits. Eurosoil conference, Vienna (AU) 25-29 August, 2008
Functional differences between savanna and forest trees in tropical zones of transition. British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Glasgow (UK) 10-12 September, 2007
Estimating Distribution and Habitat Associations of the Endangered Aders’ Duiker: Implications for Research and Conservation of Elusive Species. 1st European Congress of Conservation Biology, Eger (HU) 22-26 August, 2006
Is the planet desavannanising? Evidence for rainforest encroachment and tropical vegetation thickening from three continents. EGU general assembly, Vienna (AU) 3 -8 April, 2011
Tropical vegetation responses to environmental change – biogeophysical, biogeochemical and socioeconomic consequences. NCCR Climate Summer School, The economics of climate change, Grindelwald (SZ) 29 August-3 September, 2010

Curriculum Vitae

since 2013: PostDoc at the iDiv and MPI for Biogeochemistry

2012-2013: Research Associate, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (USA)

2006-2011: PhD in Tropical Biogeochemistry, University of Leeds (UK). Thesis title: Multi-continental biogeochemical comparisons of tropical Forest-Savanna zones of transition

2004-2005: MSc (Distinction) Biological Diversity, University of Plymouth (UK). Thesis title: Habitat preferences of duiker in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, Kenya: Implications for the conservation of Aders’ duiker (Cephalophus adersi).

2000-2004: BSc (Hons) Biotechnology, University of Applied Sciences Mannheim (DE). Thesis title: Optimization of pharmaceutical quality of herbal extracts and mother tinctures by means of phytochemical and pharmacological techniques instancing Deadly Nightshade (Atropa bella-donna).

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