In the last phase of the Biodiversity Exploratories, both the large-scale field experiments and the common garden EXClAvE I have been established to quantify the relative effects of individual land use components (mowing and fertilizer additions) on the diversity and functionality of ecosystems. Using a 3D multispectral plant scanner (PlantEye F500, Phenospex, Heerlen, The Netherlands) we found that morphological and physiological features of plant communities rapidly respond to land use components, while the species composition remained largely unchanged.

In EXClAvE II, we will

  • a) track the temporal trajectory of community responses to experimental land-use treatments;
  • b) compare morphological and physiological responses of plant communities in the common garden and in the REX / LUX experiments generating general rules of community responses to land use changes; and
  • c) perform a greenhouse experiment tracking responses in plant morphology, physiology, and microbiome to land use in four selected species.

We will measure morphological and physiological features of the grassland communities in the common garden as well as in the field using the 3D multispectral plant scanner. Additionally, we will perform a greenhouse experiment where we phenotype plant species exposed to different land-use treatments and will use 16S amplicon sequencing assessing responses of bacterial communities associated to the plants.

Plantscanner in a greenland

Expected Results

Our data will contribute to a mechanistic understanding of community responses to land use components.

Project in other funding periods

Picture: The photo shows the experimental garden of the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, called "Common Garden". You can see swards with tall growing grasses in six rows of square sub-plots of fifty by fifty centimeters, where always two sub-plots are laid out next to each other. One row is thus one meter wide. Between the rows are paths. In the background are greenhouses, buildings and behind them a dense row of deciduous and coniferous trees under a sky covered with cumulus clouds
EXClAvE I (Contributing project)
#Plants  #BEF  #2020 – 2023  #Functional diversity […]

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Robert R. Junker
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Robert R. Junker
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Manuel Pitzer
Manuel Pitzer
Philipps-Universität Marburg