Biodiversity Exploratories


The DFG-funded Biodiversity Exploratories project aims to understand the effects of land-use intensity on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Since 2008 this collaborative large-scale project involves researchers from various disciplines and universities.

Region and design

The research project includes three different regions (exploratories) across Germany: Schwäbische Alb in the southwest, Hainich Dün in the centre and Schorfheide Chorin in the northeast of Germany.
Each exploratory includes 50 grassland and 50 forest sites that can be ranked along a gradient of land-use intensity. Grassland sites are managed by mowing, grazing and fertilization (but not pesticides, and no arable land is included). Yearly interviews with the land owners and farmers collect the land-use intensity information for each site. The management intensity of forest sites can be described e.g. by the estimated amount of wood harvested or non-native tree species.

Our focus

Our group studies land-use responses of insect communities and their ecosystem functioning: pollinators (bees, flies, butterflies, beetles), dung beetles, herbivores, grasshoppers, cicadas, bugs and moths. 

Econetlab projects

in the Exploratories





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