Links zu Fotos und Publikationen  aus EVENT 5


Semi-natural grasslands are one of the most important types of ecosystems in Central and Western Europe. They host a high diversity of species that is adapted to traditional land use techniques, low fertilizer inputs and to low recurrence of disturbances (mowing). Due to the intensification of management (mowing frequency, efficiency of mowing devices, fertilizer input), losses of species diversity occur and are documented. This is expected to be continued.

In this experiment it was shown that biodiversity contributes to the functionality of ecosystems. Biomass production responds to experimental levels of biodiversity. If species diversity is lost, then also the productivity of grasslands can decrease. Sustainable land use that is resource efficient and not polluting the environment can be supported by a systematic management of biodiversity.

Our aim is to investigate the ecological services of biodiversity for food production in order to reduce energy and fertilizer inputs. In face of climate change and increasing extremes, biodiversity may serve as an insurance that maintains the functionality of grasslands.


As biodiversity is related to the functioning of ecosystems, we expect that the stability and resilience in a semi-natural grassland in face of increased climatic variability reflects its functional and taxonomic diversity.
The legacy of former levels of biodiversity is expected to have long-term repercussions on processes and mechanisms in the ecosystem.

E5 Versuchsfläche Lindenhof
EVENT 5: Harvest

Experimental Setup:

The site “Lindenhof” is located next to the environ-mental station Lindenhof (49°55’N, 11°35’E, 355

m altitude); average annual temperature = 7.8°C; mean annual precipitation = 709 mm. Soil consists of keuper marl from trias; soil typ is brown soil-pseudogley with variable mixture; installed since 1996 with 64 plots of 2 x 2 m. Mowing twice a year (June, September). No fertilizer application. Natural climatic variability.





  •  autumn 1995: Preparation based on former agricultural field, Ploughing
  •  spring 1996: elimination of seed bank through mechanic impact and in-situ steam sterilization of soil, installation of the controlled diversity experiment (BIODEPTH)
  •  1996-1998: species compositions in plot held constant
  •  since final weeding 1999 uncontrolled succession based on various levels of species diversity, establishment of new mixtures, adjustment of the level of diversity
  •  continuation of species specific measurements twice a year since then

Research Activities:

E5 Sortieren
EVENT 5: Sorting species

In this experiment we investigate the development of vegetation based on various levels of species diversity. We want to find out, how long it takes until certain levels of species diversity are reached.

This experiment is one of the very few long-term observations at the species and community level.
We observe the naturally occurring climatic variability for earch year and relate these climtic conditions to the performance of complete communities and single species, respectively. We expect a relationship between diversity and biomass stability and between diversity and resilience after depressions of certain species and community types.
Above ground species specific biomass harvest and the harvest of functional groups (grasses, herbs, legumes, woody plants) is carried out twice a year in June and September (five centimetre above the soil surface to simulate traditional mowing devices) within the central square metre of each plot. All samples are sorted in the lab: one is separated for species and one for functional group. Biomass is measured and calculated after one day desiccation at 80° C.

Wetter Versuchsflächen Waldstein
Globalstrahlung: 0 W/m²
Lufttemperatur: -7.6 °C
Niederschlag: 0.0 mm/24h
Wind (Höhe 32m): 3.2 km/h

Letzte Änderung 11.11.2011