Bad Lauchstädt

UFZ Research Station Bad Lauchstädt

The UFZ Research Station, which is located south-east of Halle/Saale in Bad Lauchstädt, was founded by the agricultural chemist Prof. Max Maercker in 1895. The region’s fertile loess-black earth soils have since offered scientists excellent conditions for their experiments on agriculture, land use, and biodiversity. In the first decades after the experimental station was founded, research focused on soil fertility, agricultural yields, and the consequences of fertilisation. However, in recent years, the focus has shifted to the effects of climate change on land use and ecosystems.

virtual tour Karte UFZ-Forschungsstation Bad Lauchstädt
More than 20 scientific experiments of various sizes and dimensions are currently running on the 43-hectare experimental site, which has been part of the UFZ since 1991. The experiments primarily serve to improve our understanding of the complex relationships in the soil-plant-atmosphere system against the background of land use change, climatic changes, and changes in species pools. The site provides the infrastructural basis for the scale-dependent investigation of various ecological systems. They range from cold- and hothouse experiments to numerous manipulation experiments in the field. The Bad Lauchstädt experimental station thus serves as the experimental basis for several departments of the UFZ. It is also a central experimental infrastructure for the cooperation with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and as well as important part of national and international networks and infrastructure projects of terrestrial ecosystem research.

The flagship of the research station is the Global Change Experimental Facility (GCEF). In terms of area, it is currently the largest climate-land use experiment in the world. On seven hectares of land, researchers investigate how climate change affects ecosystem processes in four different forms of land use. But what really sets the research station apart is the 125-year-old Static Fertilisation Experiment. It continues to provide important data on the effect of different fertiliser variants on plants, soil, and micro-organisms as well as on the calibration of sensors for remote sensing.