The Jena Experiment: Exploring mechanisms underlying the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

The Jena Experiment was established with the aim to link biodiversity and the population processes in ecological communities to ecosystem fluxes. Sixty plant species were used to assemble experimental plant communities of different diversities. The Jena Experiment has demonstrated positive effects of plant diversity on plant productivity and a large number of other ecosystem variables, supporting the hypothesis that biodiversity maintains ecosystem multifunctionality. Central to the Jena Experiment is a holistic approach that considers not only the producer compartment whose biodiversity is being manipulated, but also taxonomic groups in all other trophic components above- and belowground. This allows us to construct complex species interaction networks, study the dynamics of their component populations as a function of diversity, and link structure and dynamics of species networks within them to ecosystem processes such as productivity and element cycling.

The value of the Jena Experiment has increased over time as now long-term plots allow capturing representative biodiversity effects and the unprecedented wealth of data enables unique syntheses and meta-analyses. The running project phase of the DFG funded research group (FOR 1451) lasts until May 2018.

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Prof. Dr. Nico EisenhauerExternal link
German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig  

Phone: +49 (0)3419 - 733200

Dr. Anne EbelingExternal link
Institute of Ecology
FSU Jena
Dornburger Str. 159
07743 Jena

Phone: +49 (0)3641 - 94.9437