Long-Term Monitoring of Dead Wood


The longterm experiment was established by Prof. E.-D. Schulze (emeritus, MPI Biogeochemistry in Jena) in the second phase and will be coordinated by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weisser since the third phase.

Within the framework of BELongDead scientists from various fields of interest investigate ecological degradation processes of dead wood.

Main questions:

  • What is the meaning of dead wood in ecosystem processes?
  • What is the influence of surrounding habitat?
  • How is the settlement of species and the decomposition of dead wood?
  • How does decomposition affects the carbon cycle and the microorganisms on the soil surface?


Experimental setup:

2008 the following tree species were put into each forest VIP in the three regions of the Biodiversity Exploratories in three replicates (in total 1140 dead wood logs):

Beech, oak, maple (sycamore maple, mountain maple and field maple in mixture), lime tree, cottonwood tree, hornbeam, ash, birch and cherry (one log per VIP), as well as pine, larch, Douglas fir, and spruce.

Each dead wood log has a center diameter of 30 cm and a length of 4 m.

At the beginning of the experiment, a soil sample was taken next to each log, dried and stored, as well as cut and stored a disc.

Photo: Simone Pfeiffer


Previous studies yielded dead wood:

Project name
Supervisor, InstitutionContent

Schulze (Emeritus, Max Planck Institute of biogeochemistry)
Weisser (Technische Universität München)

Initial measurements at the beginning of the project (eg diameter, trunk cover)
Funwood Bauhus, Kahl (University of Freiburg)
Buscot, Krüger (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental research)
Hofrichter (International Gratuate School Zittau)
Otto (University of Leipzig)
Effects of the intensity of forest management on the diversity of wood-decaying fungi and dead wood decomposition, fungus monitoring
FRASSMaraun (University of Göttingen)Reproductive behavior of oribatid mite species on bark along a land use gradient
BELongDead - StoffflüsseMatzner (University of Bayreuth)Measurement of stem flow and release of DOC and DON
Arthropoden I, Arthropoden IIWeisser, Gossner (Technische Universitaet Muenchen)
Steffan-Dewenter (University of Würzburg)
Population density and diversity saproxylic arthropods, infestation by Trypodendron and Xyleborus, monitoring saproxylic insects