Globally, forests represent highly productive ecosystems that act as carbon sinks where soil organic matter is formed from residuals after biomass decomposition as well as from rhizodeposited carbon. Forests exhibit a high level of spatial heterogeneity and the importance of trees, the dominant primary producers, for their structure and functioning. Fungi, bacteria and archaea inhabit various forest habitats: foliage, the wood of living trees, the bark surface, ground vegetation, roots and the rhizosphere, litter, soil, deadwood, rock surfaces, invertebrates, wetlands or the atmosphere, each of which has its own specific features, such as nutrient availability or temporal dynamicy and specific drivers that affect microbial abundance, the level of dominance of bacteria or fungi as well as the composition of their communities. However, several microorganisms, and in particular fungi, inhabit or even connect multiple habitats, and most ecosystem processes affect multiple habitats. Forests are dynamic on a broad temporal scale with processes ranging from short-term events over seasonal ecosystem dynamics to long-term stand development after disturbances such as fires or insect outbreaks. The understanding of these processes can be only achieved by the exploration of the complex 'ecosystem microbiome' and its functioning using focused, integrative microbiological and ecological research performed across multiple habitats.