DFG_Biodiversity_Exploratory_Schorfheide-Chorin - Germany
Parent Site Name
The Schorfheide with its sander areas, ground and end moraines is representative for the glacially formed lowlands of northern Germany. Different soil types (podzolised) brown earth, lessivé, pararendzina, podzols, bog soils) are the base for diverse vegetation. With an annual precipitation of about 520-580 mm, the Schorfheide belongs to the driest parts of Germany. Its natural potential vegetation comprises zonal pine-oak forests, beech forests, oak-beech forests, as well as azonal alder and downy birch forests. On dry sandy hills subcontinental xerotherm grasslands occur. Typical of the area is the huge number of lakes, moors, fens and mires.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Changes in land use and its intensity are major determinants of biodiversity. Currently, biodiversity experiences a general decline due to ongoing large- and small-scale changes in land use. However, while the relationship between land use and biodiversity is well-established for some taxa including studies on the effects on genetic diversity, it is not for others. Also, it is not known how diversities of different taxa are related to each other, and whether they, and their genetic diversities respond similarly to variation in land use. Recent model experiments with manipulated plant species diversity demonstrated negative effects of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning and services. Other model experiments with manipulated microbial, fungal, animal, and genetic diversity are further exploring functional consequences of biodiversity change, and they appear to confirm the observations made with plants. However, for natural systems the functional importance of biodiversity is unclear because of the overriding effects of different management strategies. Therefore, research in real landscapes on feed back loops between landscape change, diversity of genes, species and biological interactions, and ecosystem services through combinations of monitoring approaches and measurements of functional diversity with designed experiments will be conducted.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information