German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

The Jena Experiment

The Jena Experiment funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) started in 2002 and is one of the longest running biodiversity experiments in Europe. The experiment comprises more than 400 grassland research plots on a 10 ha field site. For the main experiment, plant communities of 1 to 60 plant species and 1 to 4 plant functional groups were established. The coordinated investigation of above-ground and below-ground consumers and processes includes a full quantification of the most important element cycles, which will be used to unravel the mechanisms underlying biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning.

Research focus

  • To understand the role of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems
  • To analyze the interdependence of plants, soil, atmosphere, climate, consumers, and land-use management in grassland ecosystems
  • To enable scientists to study ecosystem processes on the same plot and over a time- scale of more than two years

Key data

    • Location: Near the Saale river within the city boundaries of Jena in Thuringia
    • Platform type: Grassland experiment with approx. 400 research plots
    • Research groups involved: More than 50 scientists from 22 research institutions involved


    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Weisser

    Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer

    Dr. Anne Ebeling(Scientific coordinator)

    Share this site on:
    iDiv is a research centre of theDFG Logo