Shaun Levick

room: B2.017
phone: +49 3641 57-6227
email: slevick(at)

street address: Hans-Knoell-Str. 10, 07745 Jena
post address: Postfach 10 01 64, 07701 Jena
Landscape Processes

Scaling biogeochemical measurements from point locations (e.g. soil pits, flux towers, vegetation field-plots) to broader-scales is confounded by the high degree of spatio-temporal heterogeneity inherent in ecological systems. We explore the drivers that create, maintain and modify landscape heterogeneity, and assess the consequences of heterogeneity for ecological functioning and biodiversity conservation in the context of global change.

We utilize a combination of spaceborne and airborne remote sensing techniques (particularly LiDAR) to uncover patterns in the structure and dynamics of landscapes, across multiple scales and spatio-temporal contexts. Our primary study sites are located in South Africa, Australia, Brazil and Germany.


Levick, S. R., Setterfield, S. A., Rossiter-Rachor, N. A., Hutley, L. B., MacMaster, D., Hacker, J. M. 2015. Monitoring the distribution and dynamics of an invasive grass in tropical savanna using airborne LiDAR. Remote Sensing. 7, 5117-5132. doi:10.3390/rs70505117.

Ratcliffe, S., F. Holzwarth, K. Nadrowski, S. Levick, and C. Wirth. 2015. Tree neighbourhood matters – Tree species composition drives diversity–productivity patterns in a near-natural beech forest. Forest Ecology and Management 335:225–234.

Levick, S. R., C. A. Baldeck and G. P. Asner. 2015. Demographic legacies of fire history in an African savanna. Functional Ecology.DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12306

Davies, A. B., M. P. Robertson, S. R. Levick, G. P. Asner, B. J. van Rensburg , and C. L. Parr. Variable effects of termite mounds on African savanna grass communities across a rainfall gradient. 2014. Journal of Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12200

Davies, A. B., S. R. Levick, G. P. Asner, M. P. Robertson, B. J. van Rensburg, and C. L. Parr. 2014. Spatial variability and abiotic determinants of termite mounds throughout a savanna catchment. Ecography. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.00532

Baldeck, C.A., M.S. Colgan, J.B. Féret, S.R. Levick, R.E. Martin, and G.P. Asner. 2014. Landscape-scale variation in plant community composition of an African savanna from airborne species mapping. Ecological Applications.24:84–93.

Thurner, M., C. Beer, M. Santoro, N. Carvalhais, T. Wutzler, D. Schepaschenko, A. Shvidenko, E. Kompter, B. Ahrens, S. R. Levick, and C. Schmullius. 2014. Carbon stock and density of northern boreal and temperate forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23, 297–310.DOI: 10.1111/geb.12125

Joyce, K.E., S.V. Samsonov, S.R. Levick, J. Engelbrecht, and S. Belliss. 2014. Mapping and monitoring geological hazards using optical, LiDAR, and synthetic aperture RADAR image data. Natural Hazards 73:137–163.

Chadwick, O.A., J.J. Roering, A.M. Heimsath, S.R. Levick, G.P. Asner, and L.Khomo. 2013. Shaping post-orogenic landscapes by climate and chemical weathering. Geology. doi:10.1130/G34721.1

Levick, S.R. and G.P. Asner. 2013. The rate and spatial pattern of treefall in a savanna landscape. Biological Conservation 157:121-127.

Levick, S.R., G.P. Asner, and I.P.J. Smit. 2012. Spatial patterns in the effects of fire on savanna vegetation three-dimensional structure. Ecological Applications 22(8):2110-2121.

Asner, G.P. and S.R. Levick. 2012. Landscape-scale effects of herbivores on treefall in African savanna. Ecology Letters 15:1211-1217.

Colgan, M. S., G.P. Asner, S.R. Levick, R.E. Martin, and O.A. Chadwick. 2012. Topo-edaphic controls over woody plant biomass in South African savannas. Biogeosciences 9:1809-1821.

Levick, S. R. and K. H. Rogers. 2011. Context-dependent vegetation dynamics in an African savanna. Landscape Ecology 26:515-528.

Levick, S. R., G. P. Asner, O. A. Chadwick, L. M. Khomo, K. H. Rogers, A. S. Hartshorn, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, and D. E. Knapp. 2010. Regional insight into savanna hydrogeomorphology from termite mounds. Nature Communications 1:65.

Levick, S. R., G. P. Asner, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, and D. E. Knapp. 2010. The spatial extent of termite influences on herbivore browsing in an African savanna. Biological Conservation 143:2462-2467.

Asner, G. P., S. R. Levick, and I. P. J. Smit. 2010. Remote sensing of fractional cover and biochemistry in savannas. Pages 195-218 in M. J. Hill and N. P. Hanan, editors. Ecosystem function in savannas: measurement and modeling at landscape to global scales. CRC Press.

Drǎguţ, L., D. Tiede, and S. R. Levick. 2010. ESP: a tool to estimate scale parameter for multiresolution image segmentation of remotely sensed data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 24:859-871.

Levick, S. R., G. P. Asner, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, and D. E. Knapp. 2009. The relative influence of fire and herbivory on savanna three-dimensional vegetation structure. Biological Conservation 142:1693-1700.

Asner, G. P., S. R. Levick, T. Kennedy-Bowdoin, D. E. Knapp, R. Emerson, J. Jacobson, M. S. Colgan, and R. E. Martin. 2009. Large-scale impacts of herbivores on the structural diversity of African savannas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:4947-4952.

Kröger, R., L. M. Khomo, S. R. Levick, and K. H. Rogers. 2009. Moving window analysis and riparian boundary delineation on the Northern Plains of Kruger National Park, South Africa. Acta Oecologica 35:573-580.

Levick, S. R. and K. H. Rogers. 2008. Structural biodiversity monitoring in savanna ecosystems: Integrating LiDAR and high resolution imagery through object-based image analysis. Pages 477-492 in T. Blaschke, S. Land, and G. J. Hay, editors. Object-based image analysis: spatial concepts for knowledge-driven remote sensing applications. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Levick, S. R. and K. H. Rogers. 2008. Patch and species specific responses of savanna woody vegetation to browser exclusion. Biological Conservation 141:489-498.