Oaks in preserving jar, Photo: André Künzelmann/UFZ

TrophinOak and PhytOakmeter

TrophinOak and PhytOakmeter focus on biotic and abiotic interactions with the clonal Oak tree DF159 under laboratory, green house and field conditions. Transcriptomic and metagenomic analyses are coupled with traits and allocation analyses in order to better understand how this important forest tree with complex multitrophic interactions can adapt under a changing environment. The TrophinOak project started in 2010 at the Helmholtz- Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ under the financial support of the DFG. 

Logo TrophinOak and PhytOakmeter

Research focus


  • Impact of the endogenous rhythmic growth of Quercus robur DF159 on resource allocations during multitrophic interactions under controlled conditions.
  • Establishment of the OakContigDF159.1 reference library to study differential gene expression in Q. robur during biotic and abiotic interactions.


  • Annual out planting of the Q. robur DF159 in Bad Lauchstädt and Kreinitz since 2010 to monitor the impact of the site and the tree age on soil microorganism communities in relation to the oak development and biotic above-below interactions.
  • Out planting of Q. robur DF159 trees along a European geographic gradient and at a German local level under different land uses since 2013 to monitor the impact of climate change and land use management on the “soil - plant – interactor” complex.
TrophinOak sheme
TrophinOak platform: Biotic Interactions with the Oak DF159 (Photo: UFZ)
Oak trees 1
Out planting in Bad Lauchstädt (2010 - 2014)
(Photo: UFZ)
Oak trees 2
Out planting in Kreinitz (2010 - 2014)
(Photo: UFZ)

Platform data

  • Location: TrophinOak - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ in Halle; PhytOakmeter - Field plots in Finland, Poland, France, Bad Lauchstädt/Germany and different TERENO sites such as Kreinitz, Greifenhagen, Friedeburg, Harsleben, as well as at sites of the tree biodiversity experiment MyDiv
  • Platform type: Laboratory to field experimentations with the oak clone DF159
  • Research groups involved: Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig University, University of Halle, University of Tübingen, Technische Universität München, University of Göttingen, Humbold University Berlin, University of Marburg, INRA Nancy and Bordeaux in France, JGI California.

  • Contact: Prof. Dr. Mika Tarkka , Dr. Marie-Lara Bouffaud

  • Platform projects:  

      DFG project - TrophinOak (2010 – 2013)   Logo: TrophinOak
      DFG Research Unit 5571 – PhytOakmeter (2023 – 2027)
      Logo: PhytOakmeter