Agro-biodiversity Observatory

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General information

Did you know that biodiversity in farms helps farmers with pest control, pollination, erosion prevention and to improve their yields, among other benefits? The Agro-biodiversity Observatory is an open citizen science project with aims to improve existing knowledge on the status of farmland biodiversity. It monitors five key groups of organisms: flora, solitary bees, butterflies and other pollinators, earthworms and other soil invertebrates.

Biodiversity is essential for food security, climate change adaptation. and  to mitigate the impact of agriculture and livestock production. However, the much necessary implementation of sustainable techniques requires field data. Citizen science is an ideal method to meet such needs for large-scale monitoring of farmlands, while involving farmers and raising their awareness. We have been inspired by the OAB - Observatoire Agricole de la Biodiversité, a project that achieved more than 500 collaborating farms all across France.

Our protocols are developed with the help of experts, and we are planning to add additional surveys for landscape and other bioindicator organisms. Initially 16 pilot farms will collaborate with the OBA, but we aspire to have many more farms joining the project. Since the project comprises several crop and environmental contexts as well as farm management, the conclusion will enable us to reflect about the most biodiversity-friendly practices. All results and learned experiences will be shared through attentive communication in seminars, workshops and other public events.

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Sonoran Desert Network Vegetation Ecologist Sarah Studd demonstrates how to set up a plot and conduct the network's vegetation monitoring. Here, Sarah uses a collapsible quadrat to sample for biological soil crusts.


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