Senior Scientist

PD Dr. Günter Hoch
Totengässlein 3
4051 Basel

Phone +41 (0)61 207 35 14
Fax +41 (0)61 207 29 80



Research Interest

As an ecophysiologist, my research interest lies in understanding the biological mechanisms behind observed patterns and processes in plants and ecosystems. In general, I aim to combine field observations with in situ and ex situ experiments to gain a better functional knowledge of plant and ecosystem processes in changing climates. My main research focus is on tree carbon relations and the limitation of tree growth under climatic stress like cold temperature or drought.

Main research topics:

- Carbon Reserve Physiology
- Cold and Drought Stress Physiology
- Alpine Treelines
- Tree Mast Reproduction
- Plant Cell Wall Functions

Education and Professional Experience

08/2014 - ongoing Senior Scientist at the Sustainable Land Use unit, University of Basel
09/2007 - ongoing Lecturer (autumn semester only), Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern
09/2013 - 07/2014 Research Associate, Research group Prof. Christian Körner, University of Basel
07/2010 Visiting Researcher, FFPRI, Tsukuba, Japan
03/2010 - 08/2013 Collaborator, ERC project 'Treelim', University of Basel
05/2009 Habilitation in Botany, University of Basel
07/2007 - 10/2007 Visiting Researcher, Research group Prof. Anna Sala, University of Montana, USA
03/2003 - 02/2010 Research Associate, Research group Prof. Christian Körner, University of Basel
06/1999 - 12/2002 Ph.D. Student, University of Basel
03/1997 - 08/1997 Technical assistant (GC-MS, isotope analyses), University of Vienna, Austria
10/1991 - 01/1999 Student in Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria


2015 - ongoing: MinCarbRes: Minimum levels of carbon reserves in temperate trees at severe carbon limitation and drought stress (PI); Link: MinCarbRes
2014 - ongoing: Tree tissue formation under low temperature stress (Co-PI)
2010 - 2014: Growth limitation, phenotypic plasticity and micro-evolution in a long lived alpine plant (Co-PI). Link: SLF
2009 - 2014: TREELIM (collaborator)
1999 - 2014: Swiss Canopy Crane project - SCC (collaborator)
2005 - 2009: Hemicelluloses as mobile carbon stores in plants (PI); Link: Hemicelluloses
1999 - 2003: C-relations of trees at the alpine treeline ecotone (collaborator). Link: Treeline research

Key Publications

Hoch G (2015) Carbon reserves as indicators for carbon limitation in trees. Progress in Botany 76. Lüttge U, Beyschlag W, Cushman J (eds.), Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, pp. 321-346

Palacio S, Hoch G, Sala A, Körner C, Millard P (2014) Does carbon storage limit tree growth? New Phytologist 201: 1096-1100

Schenker G, Lenz A, Körner C, Hoch G (2014) Physiological minimum temperatures for root growth in seven common European broad-leaved tree species. Tree Physiology 34: 302-313

Hoch G, Siegwolf RTW, Keel SG, Körner C, Han Q (2013) Fruit production in three masting tree species does not rely on stored carbon reserves. Oecologia 171: 653-662

Hoch G, Körner C (2012) Global patterns of mobile carbon stores in trees at the high-elevation tree line. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21: 861-871

Fajardo A, Piper FI, Pfund L, Körner C, Hoch G (2012) Variation of mobile carbon reserves in trees at the alpine treeline ecotone is under environmental control. New Phytologist 195:794-802

Sala A, Piper FI, Hoch G (2010) Physiological mechanisms of drought-induced tree mortality are far from being resolved. New Phytologist 186: 274-281

Hoch G, Körner C (2009) Growth and carbon relations of treeline forming conifers at constant vs. variable low temperatures. Journal of Ecology 97: 57-66

Sala A, Hoch G (2009) Height-related growth declines in ponderosa pine are not due to carbon limitation. Plant, Cell and Environment 32: 22-30

Schädel CM, Blöchl A, Richter A, Hoch G. (2009) Short-term dynamics of non-structural carbo-hydrates and hemicelluloses in young branches of temperate forest trees during bud break. Tree Physiology 29: 901-911

Hoch G (2007) Cell wall hemicelluloses as mobile carbon stores in non-reproductive plant tissues. Functional Ecology 21: 823-834

Hoch G (2005) Fruit-bearing branchlets are carbon autonomous in mature broad-leaved temperate forest trees. Plant, Cell and Environment 28: 651-659

Hoch G, Richter A, Körner C (2003) Non-structural carbon compounds in temperate forest trees. Plant, Cell and Environment 26: 1067-1081