Max Planck Gesellschaft

Jana Wäldchen

MPI for Biogeochemistry
Department of Biogeochemical Integration

room: C3.005 (tower) or TU Ilmenau
phone: +49 3677 69 4849
email: jwald(at)

Professional background | Actual Projects | Research interests | Publications

Professional background

since 2014

Group Leader in the Flora Incognita project, MPI-BGC, Jena

2010 - 2014

Postdoc at Emeritus Group Carbon Balance and Ecosystem Research, MPI-BGC, Jena

2007 - 2010

PhD student at Department Biogeochemical Processes, MPI-BGC, Jena

2006 - 2007

Researcher at Institute for Ecology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena


Scientific assistant at Research group “Organismic Biogeochemistry” at MPI-BGC, Jena


Scientific assistant at Potsdam-Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam


Internship at Institute for Alpine Environment at the European Academy (EURAC) in Bozen/ Italy

Actual Projects

Flora Incognita - interactive plant species identification with mobile devices

Flora Incognita is a research project founded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safty (BMUB), the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Nature Conservation Foundation of Thuringia, with the purpose to support research projects to implement the German National Strategy on Biological Diversity.It is a joint project between the Technical University in Ilmenau and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena.


  1. Developing an interactive and incremental method for the semi-automated identification of plant species
  2. Creating a repository of the wild flowering plants of middle Germany customized to specifics of automated recognition
  3. Developing didactically optimized user interactions and species information within the identification process
  4. Developing an automated field mapping system for the identified plant species and their registration within central databases of the Nature Conservation authorities

On the project website you will find information on the Flora Incognita organization, the latest news and how to join Flora Incognita activities.


1Katal, N., Rzanny, M., Mäder, P., Wäldchen, J. (2022). Deep learning in plant phenological research: A systematic literature review. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13: 805738. doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.805738.
2Rzanny, M., Wittich, H. C., Mäder, P., Deggelmann, A., Boho, D., Wäldchen, J. (2022). Image-based automated recognition of 31 Poaceae species: The most relevant perspectives. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12: 804140. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.804140.
3Pärtel, J., Pärtel, M., Wäldchen, J. (2021). Plant image identification application demonstrates high accuracy in Northern Europe. AOB PLANTS, 13(4): plab050. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plab050.
4Mahecha, M. D., Rzanny, M., Kraemer, G., Mäder, P., Seeland, M., Wäldchen, J. (2021). Crowd-sourced plant occurrence data provide a reliable description of macroecological gradients. Ecography, 44(8), 1131-1142. doi:10.1111/ecog.05492.
5Mäder, P., Boho, D., Rzanny, M., Seeland, M., Wittich, H. C., Deggelmann, A., Wäldchen, J. (2021). The Flora Incognita app – interactive plant species identfication. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12(7), 1335-1342. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13611.
6Boho, D., Rzanny, M., Wäldchen, J., Nitsche, F., Deggelmann, A., Wittich, H.-C., Seeland, M., Mäder, P. (2020). Flora Capture: a citizen science application for collecting structured plant observations. BMC Bioinformatics, 21: 576. doi:10.1186/s12859-020-03920-9.
7Rzanny, M., Mäder, P., Deggelmann, A., Chen, M., Wäldchen, J. (2019). Flowers, leaves or both? How to obtain suitable images for automated plant identification. Plant Methods, 15: 77. doi:10.1186/s13007-019-0462-4.
8Seeland, M., Rzanny, M., Boho, D., Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2019). Image-based classification of plant genus and family for trained and untrained plant species. BMC Bioinformatics, 20: 4. doi:10.1186/s12859-018-2474-x.
9Wittich, H. C., Seeland, M., Wäldchen, J., Rzanny, M., Mäder, P. (2018). Recommending plant taxa for supporting on-site species identification. BMC Bioinformatics, 19: 190. doi:10.1186/s12859-018-2201-7.
10Wäldchen, J., Rzanny, M., Seeland, M., Mäder, P. (2018). Automated plant species identification—Trends and future directions. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(4): e1005993. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005993.
11Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2018). Plant species identification using computer vision: A systematic literature review. Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, 25(2), 507-543. doi:10.1007/s11831-016-9206-z.
12Dunker, S., Boho, D., Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2018). Combining high-throughput imaging flow cytometry and deep learning for efficient species and life-cycle stage identification of phytoplankton. BMC Ecology, 18: 51. doi:10.1186/s12898-018-0209-5.
13Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2018). Machine learning for image based species identification. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(11), 2216-2225. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13075.
14Rzanny, M., Seeland, M., Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2017). Acquiring and preprocessing leaf images for automated plant identification: understanding the tradeoff between effort and information gain. Plant Methods, 13: 97. doi:10.1186/s13007-017-0245-8.
15Seeland, M., Rzanny, M., Alaqraa, N., Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2017). Plant species classification using flower images—A comparative study of local feature representations. PLoS One, 12(2): e0170629. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170629.
16Wäldchen, J., Thuille, A., Seeland, M., Rzanny, M., Schulze, E. D., Boho, D., Alaqraa, N., Hofmann, M., Mäder, P. (2016). Flora Incognita – Halbautomatische Bestimmung der Pflanzenarten Thüringens mit dem Smartphone. Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz in Thüringen, 53(3), 121-125.
17Seeland, M., Rzanny, M., Alaqraa, N., Thuille, A., Boho, D., Wäldchen, J., Mäder, P. (2016). Description of flower colors for image based plant species classification. In K.-H. Franke (Ed.), 22nd German Color Workshop (FWS), Ilmenau, Germany (pp. 145-154).
18Schulze, E. D., Bouriaud, O., Wäldchen, J., Eisenhauer, N., Walentowski, H., Seele, C., Heinze, E., Pruschitzki, U., Danila, G., Marin, G., Hessenmöller, D., Bouriaud, L., Teodosiu, M. (2014). Ungulate browsing causes species loss in deciduous forests independent of community dynamics and silvicultural management in Central and Southeastern Europe. Annals of Forest Research, 57(2), 267-288. doi:10.15287/afr.2014.273.
19Walentowski, H., Schulze, E. D., Teodosiu, M., Bouriaud, O., von Heßberg, A., Bußler, H., Baldauf, L., Schulze, I., Wäldchen, J., Böcker, R., Herzog, S., Schulze, W. (2013). Sustainable forest management of Natura 2000 sites: a case study from a private forest in the Romanian Southern Carpathians. Annals of Forest Research, 56(1), 217-245.
20Wäldchen, J., Schulze, E. D., Schöning, I., Schrumpf, M., Sierra, C. (2013). The influence of changes in forest management over the past 200 years on present soil organic carbon stocks. Forest Ecology and Management, 289, 243-254. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.014.
21Wäldchen, J., Schöning, I., Mund, M., Schrumpf, M., Bock, S., Herold, N., Uwe Totsche, K., Schulze, E. D. (2012). Estimation of clay content from easily measurable water content of air-dried soil. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 175(3), 367-376. doi:10.1002/jpln.201100066.
22Wäldchen, J., Schulze, E. D., Mund, M., Winkler, B. (2011). Der Einfluss politischer, rechtlicher und wirtschaftlicher Rahmenbedingungen des 19. Jahrhunderts auf die Bewirtschaftung der Wälder im Hainich-Dün-Gebiet (Nordthüringen). Forstarchiv, 82, 35-47. doi:10.2376/0300-4112-82-35.
23Schulze, E. D., Hessenmöller, D., Seele, C., Wäldchen, J., Von Lüpke, N. (2010). Die Buche. Eine Kultur- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte. Biologie in unserer Zeit, 40(3), 171-183. doi:10.1002/biuz.201010421.
24Schulze, E.-D., Klaus, S., Westhus, W., Wiesner, J., Fritzlar, F., Profft, G., Roscher, C., Wäldchen, J., Weisser, W. W. (2009). Artenvielfalt in Thüringen: Zustand, Ursachen, Funktion, Zukunft. Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 41(12), 365-374.
25Wäldchen, J., Pusch, J., Luthardt, V. (2005). Zur Diasporen-Keimfähigkeit von Segetalpflanzen: Untersuchungen in Nord-Thüringen. Beiträge für Forstwirtschaft und Landschaftsökologie, 38(2), 145-156.
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