Completed Projects. Graphic: Regina Stoltenburg/UFZ

Completed Research Projects

» Biodiversity Experiments

Funding: DFG | different project phases Biodiversity Exploratories
Web: Biodiversity Exploratories  

Project term: 2020 - 2023 (sixth phase)

  • Microorganisms & Fungi (core project 8)

    "Species diversity and community composition of soil microorganisms in grassland and forest ecosystems along land use gradients in the three German biodiversity exploratories"

    Within the "German Biodiversity Exploratories", the project "Core8" aims at monitoring soil microbial diversity by applying high-throughput molecular techniques, bioinformatics and machine learning. This project phase includes work on the following current research priorities:
    i) microbiological investigation of such major groups as bacteria, archaea, mycorrhizae and micro-eukaryotes,
    ii) acquisition of barcoding information for further analysis in the associated partner projects,
    iii) collection of data not only on structural but also on functional diversity,
    iv) use of bioinformatics applications to determine both network structures and key species in soils and their functional/genetic properties.


    Prof. Dr. François Buscot Dr. Kezia Goldmann Beatrix Schnabel
    Microorganisms & Fungi

    Leibniz Institute DSMZ - German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (Germany), Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany)

  • BLD-MFD-HZG III (contributing project)

    "BELongDead - Multitrophic functional diversity in deadwood"

    The project "BELongDead III" (within the framework of the well-replicated BELongDead experiment established in the Biodiversity Exploratories) aims to continue and extend the temporal investigations from the previous project phases. In addition, a complementary supplementary experiment is planned, which will allow to investigate the importance of colonization and establishment and their influence on successional trajectories across different species groups. The focus of this project is on all relevant and underlying molecular and biochemical mechanisms and processes of organism-influenced deadwood decomposition in the context of forest management intensities and spatial-geographic scaling.


    Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Julia Moll , Dr. Björn Hoppe (JKI Braunschweig)
    Dresden University of Technology - TU Dresden (Germany)

Project term: 2017 - 2020 (fifth phase)

  • BLD-FFD-HZG II (contributing project)

    "BELongDead - Fungal Functional Diversity - Halle/Zittau/Grafenau (BLD-FFD-HZG). Fungal and bacterial structural diversity and the expression and diversity of wood decay relevant genes in coarse woody debris"

    Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Julia Moll , Dr. Björn Hoppe

Project term: 2014 - 2017 (forth phase)

  • MicroSYSteM (contributing project)

    "Microbial Data Synthesis and Meta-analysis for the Biodiversity Exploratories"

    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot
    Web: MicroSYSteM

  • BLD-FFD-HZG (contributing project)

    "BELongDead - Fungal Functional Diversity - Halle/Zittau/Grafenau (BLD-FFD-HZG). Fungal and bacterial structural diversity and the expression and diversity of wood decay relevant genes in coarse woody debris"

    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Björn Hoppe
    Web: BLD-FFD-HZG

Project term: 2008 - 2011 and 2011 - 2014

  • Funwood  and  Funwood II (contributing projects)

    "The effect of forest management intensity on the diversity of wood-decaying fungi and dead wood decomposition"

    Project term: 2009 - 2013 (Funwood), 2011 - 2014 (Funwood II)
    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Dirk Krüger, Björn Hoppe , Witoon Purahong
    Web: Funwood II

  • FuPerS (contributing project)

    "Fungal perioxidases in soils: functional and taxonomic diversity and enzymatic activities under varying land use regimes in German biodiversity exploratories"

    Project term: 2008 - 2011
    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Dirk Krüger, Danuta Kapturska

    Web: FuPerS

Funding: BiodivERsA | Project term: 2017 - 2020
Web: BiodivERsA BiodivERsA

BiodivERsA - the network programming and funding research on biodiversity and ecosystem services across European countries and territories. It is an ERA-NET Co-fund, funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

European Joint Call 2015-2016 – funded project:

Funding: DFG | Project term:2014 - 2017 AquaDiva
Web: AquaDiva

Collaborative Research Centre SFB 1076 “AquaDiva – Understanding the Links between Surface and Subsurface Biogeosphere” of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and three non-university research institutes in Jena or Leipzig

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2014 - 2016 (third phase) BEF China
Web: BEF China  

DFG Research Group "The role of tree and shrub diversity for production, erosion conrtol, element cycling, and species conservation in Chinese subtropical forest ecosystems" (FOR 891)

BEF China - a joint Chinese-German-Swiss research project

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2020 - 2023  The Jena Experiment
Web: The Jena Experiment  

The Jena Experiment (DFG Research Unit 5000) is one of the longest-running biodiversity experiments in the world (running since 2002). The central aim of the Research Unit is to uncover the mechanisms that determine biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships in the short- and in the long-term.

  • Subproject 1 - Mycorrhiza

    "Microbial root symbionts as drivers of eco-evolutionary dynamics and long-term biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in plant communities"

    Given the main objective of the Research Unit, namely to uncover the mechanisms that determine BEF relationships in the short- and in the long-term, the main goal of SP1 is to elucidate the mechanisms driving biodiversity and community assembly of AMF along a plant diversity gradient. In particular, we ask whether the interplay between plants and AMF diversity changes over time, and could play a role in the expected reinforcement of the BEF relationship with time. Our subproject takes advantage of the long-term plant diversity gradient established in the Jena Experiment, including the nested experimental treatments to separate the time-related co-adaptation with plants (plant history) from the soil history effect. We broaden the study frame by considering additional soil fungal functional groups (sapro- and pathotrophs) in comparison to AMF. Specifically, this subproject will address the following questions:
    1) Does ecosystem aging (history) correspond to co-adaptation between the fungal and plant partners of AM symbioses? e.g. Does this coadaptation result in selection of specialized AMF at low plant diversity, whereas generalist AMF are selected at high plant diversity levels?
    2) Is this “partner optimization” related to symbiotic link improvement as reflected by enhanced mycorrhization rates?
    3) Are co-adaptation and the related BEF relationship dependent on soil history, plant history, or both?
    4) Are the observed dynamics specific to AMF or mirrored by other fungal functional groups?

    Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Anna Heintz-Buschart (University of Amsterdam – UVA), Cynthia Albracht
    Web: The Jena Experiment - Subproject 1
    Groups of the DFG Research Unit

    The subproject is currently running (2022/2023) at the University of Amsterdam. Please contact Dr. Anna Heintz-Buschart (Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam)

Funding: DFG | Project term: since 2002 The Jena Experiment
Web: The Jena Experiment

The Jena Experiment - Exploring mechanisms underlying the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

  • Contributing project:

    “Diversity and functions of arbuscular mycorrhizal and soil fungi with oxidative potential in grasslands with different levels of plant diversity”

    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot
    Web: project description

» Oak – an important forest tree: physiology, traits, biotic/abiotic interactions, adaption under a changing environment

Funding: ERC H2020-MSCA-IF | Project term: 2019 - 2021 

Funding: DAAD | Project term: 2017 - 2021  Logo-DAAD

Funding: iDiv – Flexpool (DFG) | Project term: 2017 - 2019  Logo-iDiv
Web: iDiv-Flexpool

Funding: iDiv – Flexpool (DFG) | Web: iDiv-Flexpool   Logo-iDiv

  •  Flexpool project

    “Oak Clone DF 159 helps to depict the natural history of ectomycorrhizal symbiosis and the answer of the multitrophic interactome on trees to changing field conditions.”

    Project term: 2014 - 2016
    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Sylvie Herrmann , Dr. Mika Tarkka , Dr. Marie-Lara Bouffaud

  • Flexpool project

    “Cross comparing molecular and physiological regulation in ectomycorrhizal interactions of different fungi with oak trees: a way to understand biodiversity emergence in symbioses.”

    Project term: 2013
    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Sylvie Herrmann

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2010 - 2013 (2018) TrophinOak
Web: TrophinOak

  • RootPatho – EM (contributing project)

    "Gene regulation and C and N fluxes during the endogenous rhythmic growth of oaks interacting with mycorrhizal as well as root pathogenic biotrophs"

    Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Sylvie Herrmann

  • LeafPatho – MHB (contributing project)

    "Physiological and molecular responses of the oak Quercus robur L. to powdery mildew Microsphaera alphitoides and to Mycorrhiza Helper Bacterium Streptomyces AcH 505"

    Contact: Dr. Mika Tarkka

» GCEF – Global Change Experimental Facility: exploring ecosystem processes under climate and land use-specific changes

Funding: Ministry of Higher Education Egypt | Project term: 2017 - 2021 Ministry of Higher Education Egypt
Web: Ministry of Higher Education

Funding: DBU (20015/391 | Project term: 2016 - 2019 Logo-DBU
Web: DBU

  • Project in frame of the DBU Doctoral Scholarship Programme

    "Increasing the stress resistance of agricultural ecosystems through plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) using winter wheat (Triticum L.) production as a case study."

    Contact: Claudia Breitkreuz , Dr. Mika Tarkka , Dr. Thomas Reitz
    Platform: Logo-GCEF GCEF

» Biological Data / Bioinformatics

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2013 - 2015 (GFBio), 2015 - 2018 (GFBio II) GFBio
Web : GFBio

GFBio – a sustainable, service oriented, national data infrastructure facilitating data sharing for biological and environmental research

Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Anna Heintz-Buschart , Christina Weißbecker

» Further projects

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2021 - 2024

  • “SpOC - Temporal and spatial dynamics of organic carbon in intermittent springs – Environmental drivers and connectivity to headwater streams”

    Springs are the birth of headwater streams. They represent the starting point of the river continuum, and are important ecotones between groundwater and surface water. Intermittent springs originate from near-surface, unconfined aquifers. They display a temporarily groundwater disconnected flow regime, short residence times and may act as sources of organic carbon (OC) to headwater streams. As a result, intermittent springs have the potential to significantly impact carbon fluxes in headwater streams. However, only a few eco-hydrological studies have addressed springs as distinct sources of OC, and it is still unclear how the variable flow regime impacts the temporal variability or organic carbon in these diverse ecotones, which are typical for low mountain ranges. Therefore, the objective of this proposal is to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of OC in intermittent springs, environmental drivers of these processes, and their downstream impact in different low mountain ranges. This cross-scale study of the hydrological and biogeochemical properties of intermittent spring and their spatial and temporal dynamics will close the existing knowledge gap regarding the role of intermittent springs within the river continuum concept. This would further contribute to the understanding of potential shifts in the dynamics of springs due to climate change induced variations in precipitation and runoff, and the impact of their changes on both the spring ecosystem, as well as related headwater streams


    Dr. Christina Fasching , Prof. Dr. Peter Chifflard (Universität Marburg)

    Dr. Kyle Boodoo (University of Vienna, Austria)

Funding: BLE / BMEL | Project term: 2013 - 2017 CARBOWERT

CARBOWERT - Hydrothermal carbonization of materials from the sanitation sector, and the sustainable reuse of their conversion products in terms of the biochar concept

A joint project of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (Dept. UBZ, BOOEK, TUCHEM), Deutsches BiomasseForschungsZentrum (DBFZ), TerraNova Energy GmbH, Institute for Applied Material Flow Management (IfaS) at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, and the Institute of Agricultural and Urban Ecological Projects (IAsP) affiliated to Berlin Humboldt University.

  • Contributing project

    "Long-term effects of hydrothermal carbonized biosolids (HTCB) in soils from sewage sludge: effects on soil microbial biomass, potential for carbon sequestration and mitigation of trace gas emissions"

    Contact: Dr. Elke Schulz

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2008 - 2012 (FunLink I), 2012 - 2016 (FunLink II)
Web: FunLink   FunLink

DFG Research Group „Carbon flow on belowground food webs assessed by isotope tracers“ (FOR 918)


Funding: Leibniz Gemeinschaft | Project term: 2011 - 2014

Work Package: Impact of Root Exudation on Microbial Community Dynamics

Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot , Dr. Tesfaye Wubet , Carla Porges
Web: IPB Rhizo

Funding: BMBF (0313285H) | Project term: 2005 - 2010

Funding: DFG | Project term: 2005 - 2009

Cooperation: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Bodenkunde (IFBK); Universität Hohenheim, Institut für Bodenkunde und Standortslehre, Fachgebiet Bodenbiologie

Contact: Prof. Dr. François Buscot
Web: project description

Funding: BMBF | Project tem: 2000 - 2010 

DIVA - The relationship between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Grassland Ecosystems

A collaborative research effort of the Friedrich-Schiller-University and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry both in Jena, with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Halle and the University of Leipzig.