Three large-scale research landscapes, so-called Exploratories, were selected for the research platform: the Schwäbische Alb, the Hainich-Dün region and the Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve. All three Exploratories are located in large protected areas and are characterised by agricultural and forestry use of different management intensity. They differ in their landscape structure and climatic conditions.
The Schorfheide-Chorin Exploratory is located north of Berlin in Brandenburg and covers an area of 1,300 km² in northern Germany, which has been shaped by the ice age. Extensive pine and beech forests, numerous moors and lakes as well as large-scale farmland and smaller grassland areas define the landscape.Read more
The Hainich-Dün Biodiversity Exploratory is located in Thuringia and covers an area of about 1,300 km² in a hilly landscape with altitudes of up to 500 m, of which about 39 % is forested. Settlements, farmland, meadows, pastures and calcareous grasslands surround the forest areas on predominantly calcareous soils.Read more
The Schwäbische Alb Exploratory is located in Baden-Württemberg and covers an area of about 420 km² on submontane to montane plateaus. Extensive grasslands, grazed by sheep for centuries, extend over chains of hills on calcareous soils, interrupted by individual stands of trees, larger forest areas and agricultural land.Read more