German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

The Kreinitz Tree Diversity Experiment

The Kreinitz Experiment was set up in fall 2005 by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ to study the effects of tree and litter diversity on ecosystem functioning. It is one out of currently 17 experiments within TreeDivNet, the global network of tree diversity experiments. Six temperate tree species, native to central-European forests and representing a range of leaf chemistry and decomposition rates, were used for the experiment: common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), European beech (Fagus sylvatica), sessile oak (Quercus petraea), Norway spruce (Picea abies), and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). The experiment consists of 98 plots (25 m2 each with 30 tree individuals), representing two replicates of all monocultures, all 2-species, 3-species and 5-species combinations, the 6-species mixture, and control plots without trees.

Research focus

  • Effects of tree diversity on diversity, species composition and abundance of other organisms and trophic levels, such as mycorrhizal fungi and other soil microbes, soil invertebrates, pathogens and herbivorous insects
  • Effects of tree diversity on various ecosystem processes such as plant growth, litter production and decomposition, pools and turnover of soil organic matter, as well as associated ecosystem services, such as forest productivity, pest regulation, carbon sequestration, or preservation of biodiversity

Key data

    • Location: Next to Zeithain-Kreinitz (Saxony), reforestation on a former arable field
    • Platform type: Field experiment
    • Research groups involved: Scientists from the UFZ, iDiv, Leipzig University, University of Halle, Humboldt University Berlin, Free University Berlin and others


    Dr. Harald Auge

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