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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment
Staff image of Urs  Schaffner

Urs Schaffner Head Ecosystems Management

T: +41 (0)32 4214877

Address

Rue des Grillons 1 CH-2800 Delémont, Switzerland

I am the head of the “Ecosystem Management” section at CABI Europe-Switzerland. Projects in the “Ecosystem Management” section deal with grassland ecology and management, environmental impact of invasive species, evolutionary ecology of invasive species, and regulation of non-native species in Switzerland and the European Union. I also work in various projects in the “Biological Control of Weeds” section, which includes field work in Asia (Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan) and close collaboration with weed managers and scientists in North America

Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Controlling the noxious Russian knapweed in North America

Although native to Asia, Russian knapweed was accidentally introduced to North America over 100 years ago and is now causing untold problems across many states. Some decades ago, a nematode species was used in an effort to control the plant but it proved ineffective. Funded by a US and Canadian consortium...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Woody weeds in East Africa

Many exotic trees and shrubs have been introduced into Africa and become destructive invasive species. They're reducing native biodiversity and limiting the livelihoods of those that live in rural communities. CABI is trying to mitigate these impacts in East Africa by generating and sharing knowledge on...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Stemming the spread of Russian olive

Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a significant invasive weed in North America. It is especially a problem in western parts of USA where it affects many types of natural habitats; altering the ecosystem and its functions. As experts in classical biological weed control, CABI scientists have been...
  1. Vilà, M., Espinar, J.L., Hejda, M., Hulme, P.E., Jarošík, V., Maron, J.L., Pergl, J., Schaffner, U., Sun, Y., Pyšek, P., 2011. Ecological impacts of alien plants: a meta-analysis of their effects on native species, communities and ecosystems. Ecology Letters (in press).
  2. Krebs, C., Gerber, E., Matthies, D., Schaffner, U. (2011) Herbivore resistance of invasive Fallopia species and their hybrids. Oecologia (in press).
  3. Schaffner, U., Ridenour, W.M., Wolf, V.C., Bassett, T., Müller, C., Müller-Schärer, H., Sutherland, S., Lortie, C.J., Callaway, R.M., 2011. Plant invasions, generalist herbivores, and novel defense weapons. Ecology 92: 829-835.
  4. Murrell, C., Gerber, E., Krebs, C., Parepa, M., Schaffner U., Bossdorf O., 2011. Invasive knotweed impacts native plants through allelopathy. American Journal of Botany 98: 38-43.
  5. Mráz P., Bourchier R.S., Treier U.A., Schaffner U., Müller-Schärer H., 2010. Polyploidy in phenotypic space and invasion context: a morphometric study of Centaurea stoebe s.l. International Journal of Plant Sciences 172: 386-402.
  6. Henery, M., Bowman, G., Mráz, P., Treier, U.A., Gex-Fabry, E., Schaffner, U., Müller-Schärer, H., 2010. Evidence for a combination of pre-adaptive traits and rapid adaptive change in the invasive plant Centaurea stoebe. Journal of Ecology 98: 800–813.
  7. Ni, G-Y., Schaffner, U., Peng S-L., Callaway, R.M., 2010. Acroptilon repens, an Asian invader, has stronger competitive effects on species from America than species from its native range. Biological Invasions 12: 3653-3663.
  8. Rapo, C., Müller-Schärer, H., Vrieling, K., Schaffner, U., 2010. Is there rapid evolutionary response in introduced populations of tansy ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris, when exposed to biological control? Evolutionary Ecology 24: 1081–1099.
  9. Krebs, C., Mahy, G., Matthies, D., Schaffner, U., Tiébré, M.-S., Bizoux, J.P., 2009. Taxa distribution and RAPD markers indicate different origins and regional differentiation of hybrids in the invasive Fallopia complex in central Western Europe. Plant Biology 12: 215-223.
  10. Eschen, R., Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., 2009. Aboveground environment type, soil nutrient content and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi explain establishment success of Centaurea jacea on ex-arable land and in late-successional grasslands. Plant and Soil 322: 115-123.
  11. Treier, U.A., Broennimann, O., Normand, A., Guisan, A., Schaffner, U., Steinger, T., Müller-Schärer, H., 2009. Shift in cytotype frequency and niche space in the invasive plant Centaurea maculosa. Ecology 90: 1366-1377.
  12. Spiegelberger, T., Matthies, D., Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., 2009. Sawdust addition reduces the productivity of nitrogen-enriched mountain grasslands. Restoration Ecology 17: 865-872.
  13. Blair, A.C., Schaffner, U., Häfliger, P., Meyer, S.K., Hufbauer, R.A., 2008. How do biological control and hybridization affect enemy escape? Biological Control 46: 358-370.
  14. Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., 2008. Classical biological control: exploiting enemy escape to manage plant invasions. Biological Invasions 10: 859-874
  15. Djamankulova, G., Khamraev, A., Schaffner, U., 2008. Impact of two shoot galling biological control candidates on Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens. Biological Control 46: 101-106.
  16. Gerber, E., Krebs, C., Murrell,C., Moretti, M., Roecklin, R. Schaffner, U., 2008. Exotic invasive knotweeds (Fallopia spp.) negatively affect native plant and invertebrate assemblages in European riparian habitats. Biological Conservation 141: 646-654.
  17. Prieto, J.-M., Schaffner, U., Barker, A., Braca, A., Siciliano, T., Boevé, J.-L., 2007. Sequestration of furostanol saponins by Monophadnus sawfly larvae. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33: 513-524.
  18. Eschen, R., Mortimer, S.R., Lawson, C.S., Edwards A.R., Brook, A.J., Igual, J.M., Hedlund, K., Schaffner, U., 2007. Carbon addition alters vegetation composition on ex-arable fields. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 95-104.
  19. Eschen, R., Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U. 2006. Soil carbon addition affects plant growth in a species-specific way. Journal of Applied Ecology 43:35-42.
  20. Spiegelberger, T., Hegg, O., Matthies, D., Hedlund, K., Schaffner, U., 2006. Long-term effects of short-term perturbation in a subalpine grassland. Ecology 87:1939-1944.
  21. Prieto, J.-M., Schaffner, U., Barker, A., Braca, A., Siciliano, T., Boevé, J.-L. 2006 Sequestration of furostanol saponins by Monophadnus sawfly larvae. Journal of Chemical Ecology (in press)
  22. Spiegelberger, T., Matthies, D., Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., 2006. Scale-dependent effects of land use on plant species richness of mountain grassland in the European Alps: weeds as important mediators. Ecography 29:541-548.
  23. Barker, A., Molotsane, R., Müller, C., Schaffner, U., Städler, E. 2006. Chemosensory and behavioural responses of the turnip sawfly, Athalia rosae, to glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. Chemoecology (in press).
  24. Eschen, R., Mortimer, S.R., Lawson, C.S., Edwards A.R., Brook, A.J., Igual, J.M., Hedlund, K., Schaffner, U. 2006. Soil carbon addition alters vegetation composition on ex-arable land. Journal of Applied Ecology (in press).
  25. Eschen, R., Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., 2006. Soil carbon addition affects plant growth in a species-specific way. Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 35-42.
  26. Spiegelberger, T., Hegg, O., Matthies, D., Hedlund, K., Schaffner, U., 2006. Long-term effects of short-term perturbation in a subalpine grassland. Ecology 87: 1939-1944.
  27. Müller-Schärer, H., Schaffner, U., Steinger, T. 2004. Evolution in invasive plants: implications for biological control. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19:417-422.
  28. Stastny, M., Schaffner, U., Elle, E., 2005. Do vigor of introduced populations and escape from specialist herbivores contribute to invasiveness? Journal of Ecology 93:27-37.
  29. Kolören, O., Uygur, S., Uygur, N., Schaffner, U., 2005. Response of Acroptilon repens to simulated herbivory and soil disturbance. Annals of Applied Biology 147:1-7.
  30. Kuhlmann, U., Schaffner, U., Mason, P., 2005. Selection of Non-target Species for Host Specificity Testing in Arthropod Biological Control Programmes. In: Bigler, F., Kuhlmann, U., Babendreier, D. (eds) Environmental impacts of invertebrate biological control agents: methods and risk assessment. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
  31. Cock, M., Kuhlmann, U., Schaffner, U., Babendreier, D., Bigler, F., 2005.The ecoregion concept and its use in biological control. In: Bigler, F., Kuhlmann, U., Babendreier, D. (eds) Environmental impacts of invertebrate biological control agents: methods and risk assessment. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
  32. Turanli, F., Schaffner, U., 2004. Oviposition specificity of the specialist Tinthia myrmosaeformis under different levels of behavioural restrictions. Biological Control 30:274-280.
  33. Boevé, J.L., Schaffner, U., 2003. Why does the integument of some sawfly larvae disrupt so easily? The harmful hemolymph hypothesis. Oecologia 134: 104-111.
  34. Schaffner, U., Vrieling, K., van der Meijden, E., 2003. Pyrrolizidine alkaloid content in Senecio: ontogeny and developmental constraints. Chemoecology 13: 39-46.
  35. Barker, A., Schaffner, U., Boevé, J.-L., 2002. Host-specificity and host recognition in a chemically-defended herbivore, the tenthredinid sawfly Rhadinoceraea nodicornis. Entomologica experimentalis et applicata 104: 61-68.
  36. Schaffner, U., Kleijn, D., Brown, V., Mueller-Schaerer, H., 2001. Veratrum album L. on montane grasslands: a model system for implementing biological control in land management practices of high biodiversity habitats. Biocontrol, News and Information 22: 19-28.
  37. Schaffner, U., 2001. Host-range testing in biological control of weeds: what can it tell us, and how can it be better interpreted? BioScience 51: 951-959.
  38. Schaffner, U., Müller, C., 2001. Exploitation of the faecal shield of Lily Leaf Beetle, Lilioceris lilii (Scop) by the specialist parasitoid Lemophagus pulcher (Szepigli). Journal of Insect Behaviour 14: 739-751.
  39. Müller, C., Agerbirk, N., Olsen, C.E., Boevé, J.-L., Schaffner, U., Brakefield, P.M., 2001. Sequestration of host plant glucosinolates in the defensive hemolymph of the sawfly Athalia rosae. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27: 2505-2516.
  40. Ruiz, R.A., Vacek, D.C., Parker, P.E., Wendel, L.E., Schaffner, U., Sobhian, R., Richard, R.D., 2000. Using Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) to match natural enemies to their host-plant. In: Spencer, N. (ed.), Proceedings of the X. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, July 1999, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, U.S.A., pp. 289-293.
  41. Hulme, P., Crawley, M., Hofgaard, A., Huntley, B., Lurz, P., O’Connell, M., Rushton, S., Schaffner, U., Sykes, M., Vila, M., Watt, A., Willis, S., 2000. Alien species and outbreaking species in ecosystems. In: Sutton, M.A., Moreno, J.M., van der Putten, W.H., Struwe, S. (eds), EUR 19375 - Terrestrial Ecosystem Research in Europe: successes, challenges and policy. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, pp. 44-48.
  42. Jobin, A., Schaffner, U., Nentwig, W., 1996. The structure of the phytophagous insect fauna on the introduced weed Solidago altissima L. in Switzerland. Entomologica experimentalis et applicata 79: 33-42.
  43. Schaffner, U., Boevé, J.-L., 1996. Sequestration of plant alkaloids by the sawfly Rhadinoceraea nodicornis Konow (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae): ecological relevance for different life stages and occurence among related species. Entomologica experimentalis et applicata 80: 283-285.
  44. Schaffner, U., Nentwig, W., Braendle, R., 1995. Effect of mowing, rust infection and seed production on C and N reserves and morphology of the perennial Veratrum album L. (Liliales, Melanthiaceae). Botanica Helvetica 105: 17-23.
  45. Gfeller, H., Schlunegger, U.P., Schaffner, U., Boevé, J.-L., Ujvary, I., 1995. Analysis of the chemical defence system in an insect larva by tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Mass Spectrometry 30: 1291-1295.
  46. Schaffner, U., Boevé, J.-L., Gfeller, H., Schlunegger, U.P., 1994. Sequestration of Veratrum alkaloids by specialist Rhadinoceraea nodicornis Konow (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) and its eco-ethological implications. Journal of Chemical Ecology 20: 3233-3250.
  47. Stutz, S., Hinz, H.L., Konowalik, K., Müller-Schärer, H., Oberprieler, C. and Schaffner, U. (2016) Ploidy level in the genus Leucanthemum correlates with resistance to a specialist herbivore. Ecosphere 7(9), e01640, 10 pp. Contact: s.stutz@cabi.org

  48. Gerber, E. and Schaffner, U. (2016) Review of invertebrate biological control agents introduced into Europe. CABI, Wallingford, UK, xiii + 194 pp. Contact: u.schaffner@cabi.org