Exploratories for functional biodiversity research
DFG-funded Infrastructure Priority Programme SPP 1374

The image film provides an overview of the central objectives, the thematic research fields, the people behind the project and the special nature of our large-scale research platform.

You must allow external media to load the videos.

Allow now
Central questions:
  • What are the effects of different forms and intensities of land-use on biodiversity and ecosystem processes?
  • What are the interactions between different components of biodiversity (e.g. between plant diversity and the diversity of soil organisms)?
  • How does biodiversity influence different ecosystem processes (such as biomass production, carbon cycling, flower pollination, or deadwood decomposition)?
The three Exploratories
For the integrated functional biodiversity research, study regions of long-term character have been established in three large German protected areas.
Background and research objectives
The Biodiversity Exploratories address crucial questions about biodiversity change. For the first time, they combine biodiversity and ecosystem research in real landscapes with a long-term perspective.
Interdisciplinary team of researchers
Scientists from different research disciplines from all over Germany and Europe work together in an interdisciplinary way on the common central questions of the Biodiversity Exploratories.
Icon Knowledge.Transfer
Activities and research results that are particularly important for the practice of nature conservation, forestry and agriculture are presented in a short and practice-oriented way. The site is currently under construction and only available in German In the meantime we would like to refer to our public data section.
Steffen Ferber
Judith Hinderling
Prof. Dr. Birgitta König-Ries
Jörg Memmert
Dr. Christian Lampei
Dr. Bruno Pinho
Ralph Bolliger
Alexander Konrad
Jarin Jose
Andreas Parth
Prof. Dr. Malte Jochum
PD Dr. Christiane Roscher
Dr. Nils Nölke
Prof. Dr. Sara Leonhardt
Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar
Sarah Martin
André Junggebauer
Sven Rubanschi
Prof. Dr. Stefan Scheu
Prof. Dr. Manfred Ayasse
Ryan Carroll
Uta Schumacher
Dr. Lena Neuenkamp
Dr. Maria Májeková
Markus Birkenbach
Prof. Dr. Lena Wilfert
Michael Ehrhardt
Susanne Werle
Prof. Dr. Bruno Glaser
Katharina John
Valentin Mader
Andreas Triantafyllopoulos
Dominik Arend
Andreas Ostrowski
Dr. Matthias Loretto
Dr. Daniel Prati
Rostand Romeo Chamedjeu
Ruth Pickert
Prof. Dr. Ulf Karsten
Dr. Oksana Buzhdygan
Dr. Caterina Penone
Sepideh Golshani
Prof. Dr. Michael Bonkowski
Alexander Teschke
Prof. Dr. Norbert Hölzel
Manuel Pitzer
Deike Stoffers

News from the Exploratories

Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer

"Our coordinated long-term study of diverse facets of land use, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes and services adds tremendous value over individual studies. This allows for entirely new insights and significantly advances the education and training of young and established biodiversity researchers across all disciplines."

Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer
Universität Bern
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Karin Glaser

"I associate the BEs with an inspiring community of researchers from a wide range of disciplines, which allows uncomplicated collaborations even beyond the "edge of one's nose." The special added value of the biodiversity exploratories are the long-term observations, the continuously measured environmental parameters, and the proximity to stakeholders on several plots and regions."

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Karin Glaser
Technische Universität Freiberg
Prof. Dr. Peter Manning

"The globally unique set up of the Biodiversity Exploratories is providing us with the most complete picture ever of how entire ecological communities, and the ecosystem processes they regulate, respond to agricultural intensification."

Prof. Dr. Peter Manning
University of Bergen
Prof. Dr. Sara Leonhardt

"I associate the Biodiversity Exploratories with a great interdisciplinary team and exciting research and research questions. Here, I am particularly excited about the exchange beyond my own research. A particular added value of the BE is the synergy, i.e. the opportunity to address major ecological questions of our time with comprehensive data sets and expertise from very different research disciplines."

Prof. Dr. Sara Leonhardt
Technische Universität München (TUM)
Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer

"The biodiversity exploratories are so special to me because they show that you can only understand complex relationships when different expertise comes together, and that it pays to look closely and differentiate when talking about the impact of land use on biodiversity. I consider it a special privilege to be constantly learning in the process myself."

Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter

"For me, the BEs represent interdisciplinarity in action.
Through the BEs, I've learned to understand how different trophic levels in nature affect each other, and the consequences of changes at one trophic level, e.g., by changing land-use intensity, for the entire ecosystem."

Prof. Dr. Michael Schloter
Technische Universität München (TUM)
More than 40 projects investigate cause-and-effect relationships in living nature using both observation and experiment.
More than 250 members from 49 working groups from a total of 47 research institutions are active in the exploratories.
The three exploratories "Schorfheide-Chorin", "Hainich-Dün" and the "Schwäbische Alb" cover an area in the Federal Republic of Germany of over 3,020 km².