Field Experiments & Instrumentation / Workshops                    --- Making Things Happen ---     



Plots with different grassland species

Meteorological station

Latitude 50.95
Longitude 11.62
Elevation 130 m a.s.l.

Vegetation height variable


  • Since 2002 until present
  • Biodiversity experiment
  • Meteorology
  • Bowen-Ratio-System
  • Soil parameters (temperature, moisture)
  • Surface temperature


Description & History

The Jena-Experiment is a joint research project between FSU and MPI-BGC.

The relationships between plant diversity and ecosystem processes are investigated in the Jena Experiment, a large biodiversity experiment with grassland species. A central issue of this research is to contribute to a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships, for which the analysis of species functional characteristics is a substancial prerequisite.

The experiment was established in May 2002. The field site of the Jena Experiment encompasses approximately 10 ha of former agricultural land in the floodplain of the river Saale near Jena.

The accessible aluminium tower is built of ladder elements combined to a rectangular frame. The construction is 5 m high and equipped with different sensors (see below!).

On a slewing boom two additional temperature-humidity sensors are mounted to form a Bowen-Ratio system. They are normally measuring in different heights above vegetation and once per day at midnight they get calibrated, while the turnable cantilever brings them into the same height. The station can be monitored via modem from the institute (see weather).

Because of the position close to the river Saale, the entire research area around the meteorological station is sometimes completely flooded. The flood in May/June 2013 was so severe, that it took several months to repair all devices.

Variables & Instruments


  • Wind velocity and wind direction - 2D-ultrasonic-anemometer, Thies
  • Air pressure - pressure transmitter RPT410V, Vaisala
  • Air temperature and humidity - temperature-humidity-sensor HMP35D, Vaisala
  • Air temperature and humidity (Bowen ratio) - temperature-humidity-sensor CPC1_4-TH, Thies
  • Precipitation - heated ombrometer, Thies
  • Sunshine duration - sunshine duration sensor CSD1, Kipp & Zonen
  • Solar radiation - net radiometer CNR1, Kipp & Zonen
  • Terrestrial radiation - net radiometer CNR1, Kipp & Zonen
  • Photosynthetically active radiation - PAR sensor PAR Lite, Kipp & Zonen
  • Surface temperature - infrared thermometer KT15, Heitronics

Soil conditions

  • Soil temperature in a profile having 7 depths - soil temperature sensors PT100, home-made
  • Soil moisture in 5 depths - soil moisture probes ML-2x, Delta-T
  • Soil heat flux in 5 locations - soil heat flux plates HP3/CN3, Rimco

Data acquisition

  • Meteorological data - datalogger CR23X, Campbell Scientific


Roscher, C., Schmid, B., Kolle, O., Schulze, E. D. (2016). Complementarity among four highly productive grassland species depends on resource availability.Oecologia, 181(2), 571-582. doi:10.1007/s00442-016-3587-4

Allan, E., Weisser, W. W., Fischer, M., Schulze, E.-D., Weigelt, A., Roscher, C., Baade, J., Barnard, R. L., Bessler, H., Buchmann, N., Ebeling, A., Eisenhauer, N., Engels, C., Fergus, A. J. F., Gleixner, G., Gubsch, M., Halle, S., Klein, A. M., Kertscher, I., Kuu, A., Lange, M., Le Roux, X., Meyer, S. T., Migunova, V. D., Milcu, A., Niklaus, P. A., Oelmann, Y., Pasalic, E., Petermann, J. S., Poly, F., Rottstock, T., Sabais, A. C. W., Scherber, C., Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Scheu, S., Steinbeiss, S., Schwichtenberg, G., Temperton, V., Tscharntke, T., Voigt, W., Wilcke, W., Wirth, C., Schmid, B. (2013). A comparison of the strength of biodiversity effects across multiple functions. Oecologia, 173, 223-237. doi:10.1007/s00442-012-2589-0

Roscher, C., Schumacher, J., Lipowsky, A., Gubsche, M., Weigelt, A., Pompe, S., Kolle, O., Buchmann, N., Schmid, B., Schulze, E.-D. (2013). A functional trait-based approach to understand community assembly and diversity-productivity relationships over 7 years in experimental grasslands. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. doi:10.1016/j.ppees.2013.02.004.

Roscher, C., Kutsch, W. L., Kolle, O., Ziegler, W., Schulze, E. D. (2011). Adjustment to the light environment in small-statured forbs as a strategy for complementary resource use in mixtures of grassland species. Annals of Botany, 107(6), 965-979. doi:10.1093/aob/mcr044.

Gubsch, M., Buchmann, N., Schmid, B., Schulze, E.-D., Lipowsky, A., Roscher, C. (2011). Differential effects of plant diversity on functional trait variation of grass species. Annals of Botany, 107(1), 157-169. doi:10.1093/aob/mcq220.