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:

- Ecophysiology of trees
- Carbon reserve functions in plants
- Drought stress physiology
- Cold limits of trees and alpine treelines

Education and Professional Experience

since 2014
Senior Scientist, Physiological Plant Ecology group, University of Basel
since 2007
Lecturer (autumn semester only), Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern
2013-2014Research Associate, Research group Prof. Christian Körner, University of Basel
2010-2013Collaborator, ERC project 'Treelim', University of Basel
2009 Habilitation in Botany, University of Basel
2007Visiting Researcher, Research group Prof. Anna Sala, University of Montana, USA
2003-2010Research Associate, Research group Prof. Christian Körner, University of Basel
1999-2002Ph.D. in Botany, University of Basel
1997Technical assistant (GC-MS, isotope analyses), University of Vienna, Austria
1999M.Sc.(Diploma) in Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria     


2021-2024SCCII - REACT: Species-specific reactions of temperate European forests to a changing environment (PI)


Explore the ‘upper hidden half’ of trees: The influence of crown position on the seasonal dynamics of biological processes in the canopy of a temperate mixed forest (PI): EXPLOTREE
Dynamic control system for multi-channel LED illumination systems to enable near-natural plant growth (PI) PlantHUB

MinCarbRes: Minimum levels of carbon reserves in temperate trees at severe carbon limitation and drought stress (PI) MinCarbRes
2014-2016Tree tissue formation under low temperature stress (Co-PI)
2010-2014Growth limitation, phenotypic plasticity and micro-evolution in a long lived alpine plant (Co-PI) 
2009-2014TREELIM: Climatic limits of European broad-leaved free taxa (collaborator) TREELIM
1999-2014Swiss Canopy Crane project - SCC (collaborator)
2005-2009Hemicelluloses as mobile carbon stores in plants (PI)
1999-2003C-relations of trees at the alpine treeline ecotone (collaborator)

Key Publications

Weber R, Geßler A, Hoch G (2019) High carbon storage in carbon‐limited trees. New Phytologist 222:171-182.

Weber R et al. (2018) Living on next to nothing: tree seedlings can survive weeks with very low carbohydrate concentrations. New Phytologist 218:107-118.

 Schmid S, Palacio S, Hoch G (2017) Growth reduction after defoliation is independent of CO 2supply in deciduous and evergreen young oaks. New Phytologist 214:1479-1490.

Hoch G (2015) Carbon Reserves as Indicators for Carbon Limitation in Trees. Progress in Botany 76:321-346.

Klein T, Hoch G (2015) Tree carbon allocation dynamics determined using a carbon mass balance approach. New Phytologist 205:147-159.

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.

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

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


Complete publication list and metrics in Publons:

hoch profile photo

PD Dr. Günter Hoch

University of Basel
Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel

Ofice no.: 01.003
Phone: +41 (0)61 207 35 14