JENA-BIODIVERSITY (German DFG funded project, 2012)


  • Sort out short terme components of long term biodiversity effect on productivity.
  • -Fill up knowledge gaps in diversity effects in biogeochemical cycles.
  • -Test complementaries in plant species reources uptake.
  • -Analyse role of plant diversity on below-ground food-webs.

Collaboration: with Jena University and Max Planck Institute + many other groups.

Montpellier Ecotron

The results of this second experiment will be presented at the Intecol Congress (London, 18-23 August 2013).

Abstract: Plant diversity and carbon fluxes: new insights from the CNRS Ecotron facility

Alexandru Milcu, Christianne Roscher, Dörte  Bachmann, Annette Gockele, Markus Guderle, Damien Landais, Clément Piel, Christophe Escape, Sebastien Devidal, Olivier Ravel, Nina Buchmann, Arthur Gessler, Gerd Gleixner, Anke Hildebrandt & Jacques Roy

The first experimental demonstration that biodiversity loss can impair ecosystem performance was performed in a controlled environment facility (The Ecotron at Silwood Park, UK) and the findings have had a profound impact on the direction of subsequent ecological research and conservation of natural systems [Naeem, et al. (1994), Nature 368: 734-737]. Two decades later, whilst there is unequivocal evidence that biodiversity loss reduces the efficiency by which ecological communities capture biologically essential resources, it is still challenging to assess the mechanisms through which species richness affects the carbon (C) fluxes in the field. We took advantage of the new CNRS Ecotron facility (Montpellier, France) to investigate the effects of plant species and functional diversity on the C fluxes of model grasslands sampled from a long term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment). Among the unique features of the experimental setup is the use of a large lysimeter (2m2 and 2m depth) approach combined with online and continuous measurements of C fluxes. We found that higher plant species richness led to increased ecosystem C uptake and water use efficiency during the growing period. The mechanisms by which species richness affected the C fluxes are discussed.