Dachaufbau E6
EVENT6: Building up the roof

The response of various ecological parameters to annually repeated climatic extreme events was investigated from 2005 to 2009 in the experiment EVENT 1. The surprising conclusion was that productivity of the plant communities remained stable while a number of other parameters showed strong reactions to drought (Jentsch et al. 2011 Journal of Ecology).

In the experiment EVENT 7, we now monitor reactions to drought in the ecosystem in high temporal resolution until the total breakdown of the system. The main research questions are:


(1) Which ecosystem functions get lost first?
(2) Which species and species compositions tolerate drought stress longer? 
(3) How long has a drought to last until lethal damage occurs?

Dürreplot E6
EVENT6: Plot during drought

This research is relevant in order to study early warning signs for breakdown of ecosystem functions and to allow for estimations of the effectiveness of future, more extreme drought occurrences.

Own research in EVENT has furthermore shown that single plants can adapt to repeated drought events, at least within one vegetation period (Walter et al 2011).

Therefore, we compare in this experiment the response to extreme drought of plant communities with different histories concerning water availability.

Weather research site Waldstein
Lufttemperatur: 5.6 °C
Niederschlag: 0.0 mm/24h
Sonnenschein: <1 h/d

last modified 2011-11-10