Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Gutianshan [(c) Christian Ristok]

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The research of the Geobotany team of Helge Bruelheide focuses on community assembly rules, climate change effects on vegetation and functional biodiversity research.


BEF-China Site A 16.09.2014

BEF-China Site A 16.09.2014

BEF-China Site A 16.09.2014

Since 2008, Helge Bruelheide is the European speaker of BEF-China, a large Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning (BEF) experiment with trees (DFG Research Unit FOR 891). BEF experiments aim at explaining effects of species loss on ecosystem functions such as productivity. BEF-China is the largest tree diversity experiment worldwide and is located in subtropical China (Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province). Random and non-random (i.e. directed) species loss was simulated by planting 566 small forests, consisting of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 24 species of a total pool of 40 broad-leaved tree species. -> homepage BEF-China

sPlot – The Global Vegetation Database

The Geobotanik group also takes part in the development of sPlot, a strategic project of iDiv (   ) led by Helge Bruelheide and coordinated by Gabriella Damasceno. sPlot is the biggest global database on taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic plant diversity, counting with more than 250 members and almost two million vegetation plots. The project has the aim to mobilize and analyze vegetation-plot data at fine spatial grain and global extent, relying on periodic releases of updated versions of the database. Currently we are working on a new version, sPlot 4.0, that is planned to be launched in 2023 first quarter. In this version we expect to reduce the biases in geographic location of plots and contributor’s participation. Also, sPlot 4.0 will include vegetation-plot time series, which will allow us to investigate also trends in biodiversity change at very fine grains.

You can check all information about sPlot at our webpage (   ) where you will find the research projects being developed by sPlot member, the published papers and the list of contributors. Do not hesitate to send an e-mail to Gabriella () if you have data you would like to contribute!

sMon - Analysing trends in German species data

sMon is a synthesis project at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig in which our research group plays a leading role. The aim is to bring together exemplary data sets on temporal-spatial changes in various taxa (e.g. vascular plants, dragonflies, fish, amphibians) and habitats (e.g. results of biotope mapping) and to explore the possibilities and limits for the analysis of biodiversity changes. This is done for different time periods and monitoring frequencies (periodic, irregular, annual) and at different spatial scales (delimited study areas, individual federal states, nationwide). Here we develop approaches to harmonise the data of different quality, which often come from heterogeneous sources, and use or develop new algorithms, statistical methods as well as unconventional combinations of both. All with the aim of being able to derive reliable trends about the increase or decrease of species, to gain information about the causes of these changes and to show connections between different taxa. Building on this, perspectives for future monitoring programmes in Germany are to be derived. Find out more at:   

Faktencheck Artenvielfalt

Der Faktencheck Artenvielfalt ist ein Projekt zur umfassenden  Einschätzung und Bewertung der Artenvielfalt in Deutschland. Dieses  Assessment wird gemeinsam von 120 Autor*innen aus Natur- und  Sozialwissenschaften sowie der Praxis gemeinsam erstellt. Finanziert  wird der Faktencheck Artenvielfalt durch das Bundesministerium für  Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) im Rahmen der Forschungsinitiative zum  Erhalt der Artenvielfalt. Helge Bruelheide und Maria Sporbert sind Teil  der Projektleitung und bearbeiten den Themenbereich „Trends &  Direkte Treiber“ zur Quantifizierung von Biodiversitätstrends über alle  Artengruppen an Pflanzen und Tieren sowie der Analyse der direkten  Treiber dieser Trends. Link zur Homepage: