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The impact of the ash dieback disease on forest ecosystems - strategies for biodiversity conservation (FraDiv)

Period of implementation


Project description

Ash-rich forests are among the most species-rich forest ecosystems in Germany. As such, they harbour a high diversity of vascular plant species and soil fungi (in particular red list species). Currently, the ash dieback disease is seriously affecting many of these communities (biocenoses). The project FraDiv, funded within the programme “Biologische Vielfalt”, aims to develop and implement recommendations and measures for the conservation of this biodiversity. FraDiv is based on a close cooperation between science (CAU Kiel) and forestry practice in Schleswig-Holstein. The project will analyse the effects of the ash dieback disease on the biodiversity of ash-rich forests and answer ecological questions concerning the infestation and regeneration of ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) with regard to the diversity of the stands. Furthermore, FraDiv will develop silvicultural recommendations for long-term conservation of the ecosystems’ biodiversity thereby ensuring knowledge transfer to forest owners and forestry practice.

Across the entire area of Schleswig-Holstein, FraDiv will study the effects of forest continuity, site factors, structural heterogeneity and their interaction with ash dieback infestation on ecosystem biodiversity. In particular, FraDiv addresses the effects of the ash dieback disease on terricole fungal species for which Germany bears international responsibility, and on characteristic plant species of the affected European-wide endangered FFH types. In collaboration with partners of forestry, the project compiles and develops measures for long-term conservation and maintenance of biodiversity. The collaboration with FraDiv practice partners focusses on field experiments aiming at the restitution and stabilisation of biodiversity and site quality of forests affected by the ash dieback disease. In addition, the practice partners provide reference and demonstration plots with suitable native and autochthonous tree species mixtures. Results of the project will yield in practical silvicultural recommendations as to the long-term conservation of the ecosystems’ biodiversity during the current phase of ash decline and forest transformation.


2,4 Mio. Euro

Funded by:

Organisations involved:


  • Kiel University (project holder)
  • Institute for Ecosystem Research (executive partner)

People involved:

Project partners

  • Herzoglich Oldenburgische Forstverwaltung
    Represented by: Dipl. Forstw. Ulf Köhn (Försterei Kasseedorf)
  • Forstbetriebsgemeinschaft Eckernförder Bucht
    Represented by: Dipl. Forstw. Thomas Buck
  • Büro für Angewandte Mykologie und Ökologische Indikation und Büro für Mykologische Gutachten, Illustrationen, Seminare
    Represented by: Dipl. Biol. & Geol. Matthias Lüderitz & Tanja Böhning

Cooperation partners


Topics for theses

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