In the first years of the BE (2006 to 2008), the selection of the experimental plots and the first inventories took place. Since 2008, further research groups have examined various facets of biodiversity by collecting data reflecting the diversity of organisms and their interactions and by mapping the nature-society relationship (see background and research objectives). The core projects collect primary data during repeated inventories. These include climate data, vegetation surveys, soil parameters, and inventories of fauna and microorganisms at all 300 experimental plots (see research design).

Publication of data

Since 2016, a part of the research data became freely available. According to the Exploratories Data Policy data are published gradually. Data of the core projects will be freely available soon after the collection. Data from the other research groups are generally available three years after data collection. Most datasets are published under the CC-BY-NC-4.0 license.

The localisation of the experimental plots is possible via the Plot ID.  The plot coordinates are available in dataset 1000. Since the coordinates are sensitive information, they are rounded to 2 decimal places. If the exact coordinates are needed, they can be requested.


In BExIS, the data management system of the BE, you can browse the constantly growing number of freely available data. In a dataset, you find in addition to the data detailed information describing the data (the so-called metadata), such as the names of the data owners, the associated project, and a method description. A quick guide on how to search for data is available in BExIS (https://github.com/bexis/Documents/blob/master/HowTo/HowToSearch.md). For more information, please contact the data management team: bexis@listserv.uni-jena.de.