Despite the richness of existing platforms at iDiv, a facility to explore the relationships between orthogonal (horizontal x vertical) diversity as well as above- and belowground compartments on the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems is lacking. The ecotron workshop helped to facilitate the construction of a new ecotron platform. We discussed the possibilities, limitations and requirements of existing ecotron platforms with experienced ecotron developers, including Jaques Roy, CNRS Centre d'Ecologie, Montpellier, France; Hans de Kroon, Experimental Plant Ecology, Nijmengen; Sigi Jahnke, Forschungszentrum Julich; Jean Charles Munch, TU Munich and Alexandru Milcu, Imperial College London, Ecotron. As a result, we will now start to outline the design of a prototype ecotron chamber. The idiv pilot ecotron chamber will be designed in a flexible way that allows performing a broad range of biodiversity experiments. The workshop also helped to condense ideas about the requirements of a new building that will habor the iDiv ecotron. Discussing new technical solutions that will be implemented to the ecotron facility will require a follow-up workshop.
Stefan Meldau (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Jena); Nico Eisenhauer (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Stefan Trogisch (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg); Henrik Hartmann (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena); Martin Schädler (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ Halle); Martina Herrmann (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); François Buscot (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ Halle); Hans de Kroon (Radboud University Nijmegen); Jacques Roy (CNRS); Jean Charles Munch (Helmholtz Center Munich); Sigi Jahnke (Research Center Julich); Alexandru Milcu (CNRS); Mika Tarkka (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ); Christian Zörb (University Leipzig); Thomas Reitz (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ); Alexandra Weigelt (University Leipzig); Harald Auge (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ); Christian Wirth (iDiv)