Dr. Ting-Wen Chen, Ph.D.

Job Position: Postdoc - Department of soil zoology

Contact details

Phone: +420 387775763
E-mail: ting-wen.chen@upb.cas.cz
Room: 215


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[NEW!!] Open Project for MSc and BSc students [NEW!!]


Type of job: 
Bachelor and Master theses
Ting-Wen Chen (ting-wen.chen@upb.cas.cz)
Food is fundamental for life continuation, not only for aboveground biota but also for belowground animals. The soil represents a black box where different organic entities such as litter, detritus, bacteria, fungi, algae and root exudates are mixed. The ample food resources likely support hundreds of invertebrate species living together without competition. By combining advanced approaches such as stable isotope, neutral lipid fatty acid, digestive enzyme activity and DNA gut content analyses, we are able to draw a more comprehensive picture from different aspects of the food resources used by the soil animals, thereby to understand the drivers of species coexistence in soil.
In this international cooperation project we will investigate the trophic niches of multiple species of springtails (Collembola) and oribatid mites (Oribatida). Students involved in this project will benefit from learning from, working in, and exchanging between two research groups in Czechia and Germany: (1) Institute of Soil Biology (ISB), Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences and (2) Department of Animal Ecology (AG Scheu), University of Göttingen. 
Material and Methods: 
We will sample soil animals in Spring and Autumn from the permanent study sites in South Bohemia that represent a successional gradient from an arable field to a forest.
We will identify Collembola and Oribatida to the species level with the helps from the taxonomists at ISB.
We will measure digestive enzyme activities at the ISB and conduct stable isotope and fatty acid analyses in the AG Scheu at University of Göttingen.

About me

Research Interests

Compared to aboveground ecosystems, soil preserves a greater biodiversity. My researches focus on species coexistence in soil. What are the processes driving community assembly patterns? Which roles has evolution played in contemporary species assemblages? To answer the questions I apply both phylogenetic and trait-based approaches to soil mesofauna (mainly Collembola and Oribatida) inhabiting different terrestrial ecosystems.



Potapov, A. M., M. M. Pollierer, S. Salmon, V. Šustr and T.-W. Chen*. (under review) Multidimensional trophic niche revealed by complementary approaches: gut content, digestive enzymes, fatty acids and stable isotopes in soil fauna. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.15.098228. (submitted to Journal of Animal Ecology.) *corresponding author.

Hao, C.T.-W. Chen, Y. Wu, L. Chang and D. Wu. (2020) Snow microhabitats provide food resources for winter-active Collembola. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 143: 107731. †with equal contributions. 

Zhang, B., T.-W. Chen, E. Mateos, S. Scheu and I. Schaefer. (2019) DNA-based approaches uncover cryptic diversity in the European Lepidocyrtus lanuginosus species group (Collembola: Entomobryidae). Invertebrate Systematics, 33: 661-670.

Gong, X.T.-W. Chen, S. L. Zieger, C. Bluhm, K. Heidemann, I. Schaefer, M. Maraun, M. Liu and S. Scheu. (2018) Phylogenetic and trophic determinants of gut microbiota in soil oribatid mites. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 123: 155-164. With equal contributions. 

Zhang, B.T.-W. Chen, E. Mateos, S. Scheu and I. Schaefer (2018) Cryptic species in Lepidocyrtus lanuginosus (Collembola: Entomobryidae) are sorted by habitat type. Pedobiologia, 68: 12-19. With equal contributions.

Chen, T.-W., P. Sandmann, I. Schaefer and S. Scheu (2017) Neutral lipid fatty acid composition as trait and constraint in Collembola evolution. Ecology and Evolution, 7: 9624-9638.

Talbot, B, T.-W. Chen, S. Zimmerman, S. Joost, A. J. Eckert, T. M. Crow, D. Semizer-Cuming, C. Seshadri and S. Manel (2017) Combining genotype, phenotype, and environment to infer potential candidate genes. Journal of Heredity, 108: 207-216.

Chen, T.-W., C.-P. Wang and P.-C. L. Hou (2008) A review on the impacts of the invasive earthworms, Pontoscolex corethrurus, on forest ecosystems. Quarterly Journal of Chinese Forestry, 41: 135-148.

Chang, W.-L., C.-Y. Yang, Y.-H. Huang, D. Chao and T.-W. Chen (2004) Prevalence and observation of intestine-dwelling gregarines in the millipede Trigoniulus corallinus (Spirobolida: Pachybolidae) collected from Shoushan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Formosan Entomologist, 24:137-145.


Total found: 9 records
Gong X., Chen T., Zhang L., Pižl V., Tajovský K., Devetter M. (2022) Gut microbiome reflect adaptation of earthworms to cave and surface environments Animal Microbiome 4 : Article number 47.
DOI: 10.1186/s42523-022-00200-0
Potapov A.M., Beaulieu F., Birkhofer K., Bluhm S.L., Degtyarev M.I., Devetter M., Goncharov A.A., Gongalsky K.B., Klarner B., Korobushkin D.I., Liebke D.F., Maraun M., Mc Donnell R.J., Pollierer M.M., Schaefer I., Shrubovych Y., Semenyuk I.I., Sendra A., Tůma J., Tůmová M., Vassilieva A.B., Chen T., Geisen S., Schmidt O., Tiunov A.V., Scheu S. (2022) Feeding habits and multifunctional classification of soil-associated consumers from protists to vertebrates Biological Reviews 97 : 1057–1117.
DOI: 10.1111/brv.12832
Xie Z., Chen T., Potapov M., Zhang F., Wu D., Scheu S., Sun X. (2022) Ecological and evolutionary processes shape below-ground springtail communities along an elevational gradient Journal of Biogeography 49 : 469–482.
DOI: 10.1111/jbi.14317
Xie Z., Sun X., Lux J., Chen T., Potapov M., Wu D., Scheu S. (2022) Drivers of Collembola assemblages along an altitudinal gradient in northeast China Ecology and Evolution 12 : Article number e8559.
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.8559
Kreider J.J., Chen T., Hartke T.R., Buchori D., Hidayat P., Nazarreta R., Scheu S., Drescher J. (2021) Rainforest conversion to monocultures favors generalist ants with large colonies Ecosphere 12 : Article number e03717.
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2. 3717
Potapov A.M., Pollierer M.M., Salmon S., Šustr V., Chen T. (2021) Multidimensional trophic niche revealed by complementary approaches: Gut content, digestive enzymes, fatty acids and stable isotopes in Collembola Journal of Animal Ecology 90 : 1919–1933.
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13511
Hao C., Chen T., Wu Y., Chang L., Wu D. (2020) Snow microhabitats provide food resources for winter-active Collembola Soil Biology and Biochemistry 143 : 107731.
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.107731
Zhang B., Chen T., Mateos E., Scheu S., Schaefer I. (2019) DNA-based approaches uncover cryptic diversity in the European Lepidocyrtus lanuginosus species group (Collembola: Entomobryidae) Invertebrate Systematics 33 : 661–670.
DOI: 10.1071/IS18068
Gong X., Chen T., Zieger S.L., Bluhm Ch., Heidemann K., Schaefer I., Maraun M., Liu M., Scheu S. (2018) Phylogenetic and trophic determinants of gut microbiota in soil oribatid mites Soil Biology and Biochemistry 123 : 155-164.
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.05.011


Biology Centre CAS
Institute of Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry
Na Sádkách 702/7
370 05 České Budějovice

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