MyDiv

UFZ experimental station in Bad Lauchstädt, 80 experimental plots were established on 1.9 hectares (© GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, [2014, C22-8029566-8029567-2014-8]).
UFZ experimental station in Bad Lauchstädt, 80 experimental plots were established on 1.9 hectares (© GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, [2014, C22-8029566-8029567-2014-8]).
Planting of trees at the MyDiv site in March 2015.
Planting of trees at the MyDiv site in March 2015.
First soil sampling for the description of soil characteristics at the MyDiv site in October 2015.
First soil sampling for the description of soil characteristics at the MyDiv site in October 2015.

The role of mycorrhizae in tree diversity effects on ecosystem functioning

Mycorrhizae play a critical role in plant nutrient and water uptake from soil and, consequently, in the plants’ competitive capabilities as well as in nutrient cycling of the whole system. Furthermore, mycorrhizal fungi serve as an important food source for the belowground fauna. However, the roles of the two major mycorrhizal types within the soil food web and their contributions to ecosystem functioning are still poorly understood. 

The tree diversity experiment MyDiv aims at integrating the type of tree mycorrhization, a crucial plant functional trait, in tree species diversity gradients. The experiment involves ten native angiosperm tree species that were planted in monocultures, 2-species and 4-species mixtures. At each of the tree diversity levels, tree communities with only ectomycorrhiza, only arbuscular mycorrhiza or mixtures of both tree groups were established.

Research focus

  • Indispensible mycorrhizae: Importance of mycorrhizal communities for soil nutrient cycling and ecosystem functions
  • Mycorrhizae - team players or lone wolves? Functional diversity in forests – do trees of different mycorrhizal types act complementarily in the above- and belowground system?
  • Who eats mycorrhizae? Mycorrhizae as part of the soil food web
  • How to increase the harvest? Productivity of functionally diverse forests – implications for forestry?

Key data

    • Location: Bad Lauchstädt, UFZ Experimental station
    • Platform type: Experimental outdoor platform, field studies, tree diversity experiment
    • Research groups involved: Scientists from iDiv

    Contact

    Dr. Olga Ferlian
    olga.ferlian@idiv.de

    Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer
    nico.eisenhauer@idiv.de

    Aerial photograph: © GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeo LSA, [2014, C22-8029566-8029567-2014-8]

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