SOILFUNGI: Long-term investigation of soil fungi in grasslands and forests; spatio-temporal variations of fungal communities

The central objective of this core project is to monitor the diversity and community structure of soil fungi in order to unravel the relation to the ecosystem grassland and forest along the geographical and land use gradients realized at all three biodiversity exploratories (Fischer, Bossdorf et al. 2010).


Scientific investigators:    

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot

Dr. Tesfaye Wubet

Sandra Klemmer

Kezia Goldmann

(Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research -UFZ, Halle)



1.    Intensive investigation of soil fungal communities along land-use gradients of all experimental grassland and forest plots of the three German Biodiversity Exploratories


  •       Generating knowledge on the respective impact of geographic locations, local micro- or macroclimatic level as well as land use, management levels and soil and plant parameters in relation to the soil fungal community
  •        Investigation and separation between the potential soil microflora from the actually active community


2.      Study of the small-scale spatio-temporal and biogeographic variations of fungal communities (link to SCALEMIC)

  •          Analysis of the soil fungal community at the local  or micro-biogeographic level at different time points (seasons)


3.      Examination of changes in soil microbial metagenome and metatranscriptome in relation to two tree species and two time points


  • Study of structural and functional diversity and variability between the plots


Based on the experience of the first period, principally in the second period we will use Next-Generation-Sequencingtechnologies toanalyse a large sample size.