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Microorganisms, especially fungi and bacteria, play an essential role in soil, including as destructors in the decomposition of organic matter and as symbionts for the growth and health of plant partners. In addition to these interactions with plants, soil microorganisms are influenced by environmental changes such as land use and forest management. However, the degree to which individual factors affect microbial diversity and composition is not yet fully understood.


The main task of the Core Project Microorganisms is the collection and monitoring, especially of the fungal community, on all 300 grassland and forest experimental plots (EPs). In addition to coordinated sampling in May 2011 and 2014, the core project will also be responsible for organising the sampling of all 100 EPs of the Hainich Exploratorium in 2017.

Furthermore, synthesis activities are taking place between the core project and various projects: e.g., with Norbert Hölzel, University of Münster or Ellen Kandeler and Sven Marhan, University of Hohenheim.


The objectives in the phase (2017-2020) are:

1. Monitoring of soil microorganisms to determine temporal effects of land use and forest management (soil samples from 2011, 2014 and 2017).
2. Record the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in all EPs.
3. Study the influence of topsoil disturbance and additional seed placement on the adaptability of soil microorganisms in grasslands (SADE).
4. Analysis of the fungal community under different land use intensity and disturbance within one year (TIMEMIC).


DNA extraction and quantification from soil, creation of a fungal amplicon library and next-generation sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform, bioinformatics (MOTHUR & QIIME) and multivariate statistics.


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Goldmann K., Ammerschubert S., Pena R., Polle A., Wu B.-W., Wubet T., Buscot F. (2020): Early stage root-associated fungi show a high temporal turnover, but are independent of beech progeny. Microorganisms 8 (2), 210. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8020210
More information:  doi.org
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Goldmann K., Boeddinghaus R. S., Klemmer S., Regan K. M., Heintz-Buschart A., Fischer M., Prati D., Piepho H.-P., Berner D., Marhan S., Kandeler E., Buscot F., Wubet T. (2020): Unraveling spatio‐temporal variability of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi in a temperate grassland plot. Environmental Microbiology 22 (3), 873-888. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14653
More information:  doi.org
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Auswirkung von pflanzlichen Nachbarschaftseffekten auf die pilzliche Diversität und Gemeinschaftszusammensetzung in der Rhizosphäre
Lohmaier A. (2018): Auswirkung von pflanzlichen Nachbarschaftseffekten auf die pilzliche Diversität und Gemeinschaftszusammensetzung in der Rhizosphäre. Master thesis, University Halle-Wittenberg
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Der Einfluss von Borkenkäfern (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) auf das Mykobiom der Gemeinen Fichte (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst., Pinaceae) im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium Hainich-Dün
Masch D. (2020): Der Einfluss von Borkenkäfern (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) auf das Mykobiom der Gemeinen Fichte (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst., Pinaceae) im Biodiversitäts-Exploratorium Hainich-Dün. Bachelor thesis, FU Berlin
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Belowground plant microbiome diversity and community composition in grassland ecosystems along land-use gradients in the German Biodiversity Exploratories
Unterirdische Pflanzenmikrobiomvielfalt und Gemeinschaftszusammensetzung in Grünlandökosystemen entlang von Landnutzungsgradienten in den deutschen Biodiversitäts-Exploratorien
Schöps R. (2020): Belowground plant microbiome diversity and community composition in grassland ecosystems along land-use gradients in the German Biodiversity Exploratories, Dissertation, Leipzig University
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Landnutzungsintsität anstatt von funktionellen Pflanzengruppen beeinflussen die bakterielle und pilzliche Rhizosphärengemeinschaft
Schöps R., Goldmann K., Herz K., Lentendu G., Schöning I., Bruelheide H., Wubet T., Buscot F. (2018): Land-use intensity rather than plant functional identity shapes bacterial and fungal rhizosphere communities. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:2711. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02711
More information:  doi.org
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Vergleichbare Pilzgemeinschaften in der Rhizosphäre von ansässigen Pflanzen und Phytometerpflanzen in bewirtschafteten Grünlandökosystemen
Schöps R., Goldmann K., Korell L., Bruelheide H., Wubet T., Buscot F. (2020): Resident and phytometer plants host comparable rhizosphere fungal communities in managed grassland ecosystems. Scientific Reports 10: 919. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-57760-x
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Weißbecker C., Buscot F., Wubet T. (2017): Preservation of nucleic acids by freeze-drying for next generation sequencing analyses of soil microbial communities. Journal of Plant Ecology 10 (1), 81-90. doi: 10.1093/jpe/rtw042
More information:  doi.org
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Verbreitung von medizinisch relevanten Antibiotikaresistenzgenen und mobilen genetischen Elementen in Wald- und Grünlandböden
Willms I. M., Yuan J., Penone C., Goldmann K., Vogt J., Wubet T., Schöning I., Schrumpf M., Buscot F., Nacke H. (2020): Distribution of Medically Relevant Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Mobile Genetic Elements in Soils of Temperate Forests and Grasslands Varying in Land Use. Genes 11 (2), 150. doi: 10.3390/genes11020150
More information:  doi.org

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The so-called core projects of the BE emerged from the site selection project and the establishment of the exploratories (2006-2008). Since 2008, they have been providing the infrastructure and collecting important basic information on land use, diversity and ecosystem processes (long-term monitoring) for all projects. In addition, they coordinate project-wide activities such as various large-scale experiments.

Project in other funding periods

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Francois Buscot
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Dr. Tesfaye Wubet
Project manager
Dr. Tesfaye Wubet
Dr. Kezia Goldmann
Employee
Dr. Kezia Goldmann
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Ali Nawaz
Employee
Ali Nawaz
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Beatrix Schnabel
Employee
Beatrix Schnabel
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Ricardo Schöps
Employee
Ricardo Schöps
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