We investigate biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships in a typical European mesophilic grassland ecosystem (assembled from grasses, herbs, and legumes) and measure a range of key community characteristics, species traits, and processes in hundreds of research plots (ranging from plant diversity, biomass, nutrient cycling, to decomposition processes) since the beginning of the experiment in 2002. A main aim of the Jena Experiment is that complementary research groups are able to study ecosystem processes on the same plots and across many years. Emphasis on different biodiversity effects is therefore reflected in different experimental designs in large as well as small plots. For details of the experiments see the paper by Roscher et al. (2004), Ebeling et al. (2014), Eisenhauer et al. (2019), and Vogel et al. (2019).

The experiment consists of following sub-experiments: