• Interdisciplinarity – Around 250 research participants from different scientific disciplines work together on different aspects of biodiversity on the same plots, following common research objectives of the Biodiversity Exploratories.
  • Completeness – With the research-design almost all of the biodiversity is recorded. Thus, not only individual species are studied, but species and species groups from different groups of organisms from different trophic levels as well as species living above and below ground.
  • Spatial scaling – Biodiversity and ecosystem processes are studied at different spatial scales, from plot to landscape level.
  • Long-term nature – The studies have been taking place on the same plots since 2006.
  • Comparability – The questions of the individual projects are addressed on the numerous real farmed areas of the three study regions in Germany with the same, standardised methods.
  • Central data management and data sharing: All data and results from the 141 projects so far are shared via a Central Data Management (BExIS) archived and made available to all researchers and, to a large extent, the general public.

The Biodiversity Exploratories serve as an inspiring research platform for the entire German biodiversity research community. If you would like to participate with a project, then you will find further information: here.

The different thematic areas of research in the Biodiversity Exploratories.


As part of an initiative to promote biodiversity research in Germany, three large long-term study areas were established in Germany in 2006-2009. These exploratories are used for comparative and experimental biodiversity and ecosystem research. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding this project since its inception, making biodiversity research possible for the first time on a large scale, on real farmland, combined with a long-term perspective. The project is currently in its seventh phase, which will end at the end of February 2026.

Overview of the ten core projects of the Biodiversity Exploratory that jointly provide and maintain coordination, infrastructure, monitoring, experimentation, and synthesis.
Picture: The collage contains fifteen photos with motifs from work in the field and in the laboratory as well as from events. Photo 1 shows a scientist kneeling on a high meadow, busy working on a wooden frame. Photo 2 shows a fenced climate measuring station in a meadow where sheep are grazing. Photo 3 shows a young female and a young male scientist in the forest handling a collection container. Photo 4 shows a helmeted scientist at the foot of a measuring tower in an autumnal forest. Photo 5 shows a group of people on an excursion in a meadow. Photo 6 shows a podium with a scientist during a lecture. Photo 7 shows a scientist showing a chart to a group of people listening during a field trip in the forest. Photo 8 shows a measurement technician working at a climate measurement station. Photo 9 shows people in front of information boards at an event. Photo ten shows the participants of the General Assembly of Members of the Biodiversity Exploratories in front of the Hotel Wernigrode. Photo eleven shows a group of scientists kneeling in a meadow doing field work. Photo twelve shows two men in the forest, one marking a felled tree trunk and the other noting something on a clipboard. Photo thirteen shows an audience listening in a conference room. Photo fourteen shows a right hand using an electronic pipette to pour a chemical to perform a polymerase chain reaction into a micro-reaction vessel, which is in a cooled rack to control the reaction. Photo fifteen shows a young woman squatting on a sunny meadow with a small child on her lap.
Impressions from the Biodiversity Exploratories on field and laboratory work, events, conferences and field trips.