Although the decline in biodiversity and the negative influence of increasing urbanization have been shown by numerous studies, there is a lack of standardized biodiversity data on a global scale. Thus, about 80% of all species have not yet been described scientifically, and of the known species, only incomplete information on their distribution areas is available in many cases. The project LIFEPLAN initiated by the University of Helsinki aims at considerably reducing these knowledge gaps. In standardized surveys at over 200 sites worldwide, biodiversity will be recorded on 100×100 m plots using malaise traps, spore traps, soil samples, camera traps and microphones. The six-year duration of the project allows not only to record the species diversity, but also the estimation of trends. By conducting a paired survey in a natural and an urban area, it is also possible to estimate the anthropogenic influence on biodiversity.
Austria participates in LIFEPLAN with three study areas. The Tyrolean State Museums are in charge of one site in Hall and the Karwendelgebirge, the University of Vienna and the municipality of Vienna are in charge of one site in Vienna in the Botanical Garden of the University and the Lainzer Tiergarten, and the Environment Agency Austria is establishing a monitoring in the LTER site Zöbelboden, National Park Kalkalpen. The data collected in the three areas not only contribute to biodiversity research on a global scale, but are also an important basis for studies on a national and local level. For example, various first records for Austria or the provinces can be expected.
DNA barcoding plays a central role in the identification of the registered species. However, this requires high-quality reference data in publicly accessible databases such as BOLD. This also underlines the importance of national barcoding projects that generate corresponding reference data.
Study area Vienna:
(University of Vienna)
(Municipality of Vienna, MA 49)
(Municipality of Vienna, MA 22)
Project status:: active
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