BEF China Main Experiment - China
BEF China Main Experiment
The joint Chinese-German-Swiss research project “BEF-China” (FOR 891) integrates more than 15 German, Swiss, and Chinese universities and institutes into 14 collaborative subprojects. In 2009 and 2010, BEF-China established a large forest biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment at the subtropical forest site Xingangshan in Jiangxi Province, China. It is the first BEF forest experiment in the highly species-rich subtropics. <!--break--> The BEF-China Main Experiment was established at two sites (A and B), covering 50 ha. In total, there are 566 plots of 400 trees each, ranging in diversity from monocultures to 24-species mixtures. The experiment used 42 native tree species and 10 shrub species, combined into different species pools. More than 400 000 tree and shrub saplings were planted. <!--break--> The present research concentrates on measuring ecosystem functions in the experimental plots, namely primary productivity, carbon and nitrogen storage, nutrient cycling, and prevention of soil erosion. The latter process is an ecosystem service which has until now never been studied in an experimental biodiversity manipulation, but has prominent importance in this region. An additional research focus will be interactions with other trophic levels and strata (herb layer, soil macrofauna, herbivores, decomposers, mycorrhiza, soil microorganisms). To meet these objectives, a wide range of scientists contribute to the BEF-China project, involving groups focusing on tree growth allometries, plant functional traits, plant-insect interactions, wood decomposition, phosphorus cycling and erosion potential.