Biodiversity Exploratories

PhD student: Christoph Rothenwöhrer (2008-2011)

The Biodiversity Exploratories are part of the international long-term ecological research (iLTER) network. In Germany, there are several such long-term ecological research projects. Within the framework of the Biodiversity Exploratories, we study ecosystem processes such as herbivory and pollination in selected grassland and woodland sites along land-use gradients.

Most importantly, we manipulated local-scale management by setting up electric fences to exclude grazing farm animals. We employed mowing treatments, and added phytometers crossed with complex predator exclusion treatments.

One of 150 grassland sites of the Biodiversity Exploratories


Electric fences and predator exlosures with trap nests

Most recent publications:

Grassland exclosure plotNewstar Inter-annual variation in land-use intensity enhances grassland multidiversity

by Allan E et al. & Scherber C et al. (2013)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (in press)



Grassland exclosure plot

Grassland management for stem-boring insects: Abandoning small patches is better than reducing overall intensity

by Rothenwöhrer C, Scherber C, Tscharntke T (2013)

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 167:38–42


Basic and applied ecology coverA quantitative index of land-use intensity in grasslands: integrating mowing, grazing and fertilization

by Blüthgen N, Dormann CF, Prati D, Klaus VH, Kleinebecker T, Hölzel N, Alt F, Boch S, Gockel S, Hemp A, Müller J, Nieschulze J, Renner SC, Schöning I, Schumacher U, Socher SA, Wells K, Birkhofer K, Buscot F, Oelmann Y, Rothenwöhrer C, Scherber C, Tscharntke T, Weiner CN, Fischer M, Kalko EKV; Linsenmair KE, Schulze ED, Weisser WW (2012)

Basic and Applied Ecology (published online 10 May 2012).

General information about the Biodiversity Exploratories can be found here.

Project partners: Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Cathrin Westphal, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Jochen Krauss.

Associated PhD student: Juliane Steckel (Bayreuth)