Core project 8 - Microorganisms: Soil fungal diversity and community composition of grassland and forest ecosystems along land-use gradients in three German Biodiversity Explanatories

Scientific investigators:

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot

Dr. Tesfaye Wubet

Dr. Kezia Goldmann

Ali Nawaz

Beatrix Schnabel

Ricardo Schöps

(Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research -UFZ, Halle)

Microorganisms, especially fungi and bacteria, have a significant role in soil e.g. by decomposing organic substances into smaller parts and by acting as symbionts and enrich the growth and health of plants. Beside the interaction between plants and soil microorganisms, environmental changes such as land-use and forest management can shape the microbial community. However, there is a limited knowledge to which extent the microbial diversity and composition is influenced by these factors.



The main objective of this core project Microorganisms is to monitor the soil fungal community in all 300 grassland and forest experimental plots (EPs). Next to coordinated soil sampling campaigns in May 2011 and 2014 this core project will organize an upcoming sampling on all 100 EPs of the Hainich-Exploratory in May 2017.

Furthermore, synthesis activity between the core project and other projects, e.g. Norbert Hölzel, University of Münster or Ellen Kandeler and Sven Marhan, University of Hohenheim.



The goals in the current phase (2017-2020) are:

1. Monitoring of the soil microbial community to assess the temporal effects of land-use and forest management (soil samples from 2011, 2014 und 2017).
2. Studying the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) in all EPs.
3. Analyzes of the resilience of soil fungal diversity to disturbance and seed addition in grassland ecosystems (SADE).
4. Determination of seasonal shifts in the soil fungal community in response to land-use intensity and disturbance.



Soil microbial DNA extraction and quantification, amplicon library preparation and Next-Generation-Sequencing with Illumina MiSeq, bioinformatics (MOTHUR & QIIME) and multivariate statistics.


Project partners:

-    ProFIL
-    NanoFaun
-    Botanik
-    Boden (Abiotik)
-    BELOW
-    InDiLaNi


Project in previous phases

Further project contribution of Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot: BLD-FFD-HZG II, MicroSYSteM II
Previous project contribution of Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot: SOILFUNGI, Funwood I-III, Soil (biotic)

Previous project contribution of Dr. Tesfaye Wubet: SOILFUNGI, Soil (biotic)

To top