Crop Diversity Experiment

Crop Diversity Experiment

  • StartEnd: 2018 –
  • Institution: ETH Zurich, University Rey Juan Carlos
  • Authors: Christian Schöb, Laura Stefan, Nadine Engbersen, Sandra González, Elisa Pizarro Carbonell, Marcelino de la Cruz, Ruben Milla & Adrián Escudero


Increased plant species richness in grasslands and forests goes along with improved ecosystem functioning, including increased productivity. These so-called positive biodiversity effects have been demonstrated in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, but are poorly known and understood in crop systems. In the common garden facility of the Aprisco de Las Corchuelas, we conduct a crop diversity experiment where we grow wheat, oat, lentil, lupin, quinoa, coriander, camelina and linseed as single plants, monocultures, 2- and 4-species mixtures and assess the diversity effect on crop yield. We conduct the same experiment in Zurich (Switzerland) and both on fertile and infertile soils. We expect higher productivity with more diverse crop communities due to complementary resource use of different species.

Check this video for more information about the experiment

Ongoing projects