The Days of Biodiversity will be organized this year as a joint conference by ABOL, BOKU, Network Biodiversiy, NOBIS and ZooBot at BOKU in Vienna, so there will be no separate ABOL conference in 2023. The program will be very diverse and is intended to appeal to science, stakeholders and the general public. Planning is in full progress, we’ll keep you informed!
Tag Archive for: biodiversity
After 2 years of virtual conferences, we were very happy to be able to hold the ABOL annual conference physically again this year. On November 18th the time had come. The 9th ABOL conference took place in the Haus für Natur, Museum Niederösterreich, after the 5th Austrian Biodiversity Forum. As usual, the lecture program was exciting and very broad in topics. The inspiring keynote lecture by Natasha de Vere from the University of Copenhagen on pollen metabarcoding was one of the morning highlights, followed by lectures on different applications of metabarcoding and eDNA barcoding. We were also very pleased to welcome Cyprian Katongo from the University of Zambia to the ABOL meeting and hear about planned DNA barcoding activities in Zambia. The focal points in the afternoon were the detection of disease vectors using DNA barcoding, but also various groups of organisms such as molluscs, butterflies, gentians and the impressive dung fungi. We would like to thank all the speakers for their exciting contributions and the participants for the lively discussions. Unfortunately, with around 55 participants, the conference was less well attended than the conferences before the pandemic.
Special thanks also go to the Museum Niederösterreich for the good cooperation and our sponsors Microsynth, Eppendorf and MDPI Diversity.
Impressions of the meeting (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):
DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia
In early October, ABOL held a DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka together with Prof. Cyprian Katongo. The workshop – as part of the OeAD cooperation development research project “DNA barcoding of Zambia’s biodiversity” (led by the University of Graz) – aimed to teach students and employees the method and applications of DNA barcoding. The workshop started with two keynote lectures by Prof. Christian Sturmbauer (Univ. Graz). This was followed by a series of lectures on various aspects of biodiversity and DNA barcoding, held by Stephan Koblmüller (Univ. Graz), Cyprian Katongo (UNZA), Nikola Szucsich and Michaela Sonnleitner (ABOL coordination). After the strenuous introduction, the sampling trip to the Kafue and Zambezi rivers was certainly a highlight for the approximately 30 participants. Equipped with nets, the participants tried to catch different species of dragonflies and damselflies, which was very successful after a short training phase. Odonata are good indicator organisms for the quality of water bodies and are therefore well suited for starting a biodiversity survey. Suitable identification literature is also available. In addition, fish specimens for sampling were provided by the Department of Fisheries. The next day, tissue samples were taken from the dragonflies and fish and the animals were dry mounted/prepared for storage. The DNA extraction was carried out in the laboratory of veterinary medicine under the guidance of Lukas Zangl (University of Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum) and Stephan Koblmüller. The last two days were dedicated to data analysis and interpretation. The participants were able to edit sequence data provided by the course leaders, calculate phylogenetic trees, etc. The participants were enthusiastic and committed to the task until the very end. We hope that the workshop has contributed to establish DNA barcoding as an approach to investigate Zambia’s rich biodiversity.
Impressiones from the workshop:
Once again this year, the Biodiversity Day in the National Park Hohe Tauern was not accompanied by good weather. With gusts of wind, cold, rain and occasional windows of sunshine, dedicated experts collected biodiversity data again last weekend – this year in the Carinthian part of the National Park in the Maltatal. The high altitudes around the Kölnbrein reservoir were investigated, but also the lower altitudes of the municipality of Malta, lighth traps were set up and bats were mapped with nets and batcorders. Due to the adverse conditions, diurnal insects were mainly collected in the short sunny windows, especially on the last day. The ABOL coordination team was there in full force and, as in previous years, will submit samples for DNA barcoding as part of an ABOL BioBlitz. We would like to thank everyone who took part! Furthermore, we thank the National Park team for the excellent organisation and support!
Congratulations on the Hohe Tauern Biodiversity Report, which was presented at the final meeting (http://www.parcs.at/npht/mmd_fullentry.php?docu_id=50402).
Report from the Organizer (in GERMAN only): -> here
Impressions from the study area:
This year’s GEO Nature Day in the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve was dedicated to wet habitats around St. Lorenzen ob Reichenau. Consequently, there was also some moisture from above on the first day – the herpetologists thanked them with proof of the complete amphibian inventory, with alpine salamander, alpine newt, common toad and common frog. On Saturday, when the weather was beautiful, we went to the peat bog of St Lorenzen, among other sites. Designated as Ramsar protection area in 2011, dragonfly species were also found here for the first time during the Geo-day in the Nockberge. Although the moor, with a high proportion of rarities, is considered a relatively species-poor habitat, thanks to the many experts, around 1000 species were again recorded this year.
The Carinthia University of Applied Sciences used various types of traps, which, for the first time for the GEO Nature Day, are to be analyzed using DNA barcoding. In addition, environmental samples were taken to test an eDNA approach, which is likely to significantly increase the number of species detected.
A great thanks to the organizers and all participants in the ABOL BioBlitz!
A few impressions from the study area:
The long journey was worth it: on July 8th and 9th the Day of Biodiversity, including a ABOL-BioBlitz, took place in the Ehrwald Basin/Biberwier, in the Ausserfern region of Tyrol. In the large valley basin, framed by the Wetterstein Mountains and the striking Zugspitze massif, the local bird sanctuary with the remains of a former extensive moor landscape was collected and mapped for 24 hours by experts from various groups of organisms. Further study areas were the picturesque Weißensee, a moist, steep southern slope and other smaller areas. The sunny weather contributed to the fact that plenty of flying insects could also be recorded. We hope for numerous samples from the participants, from which ABOL will have DNA barcodes created, and thank you very much in advance for your commitment. We would also like to thank the organizers for allowing ABOL to take part once again, as well as for the excellent catering and organization!
A few impressions from the study area:
One goal of ABOL is to promote taxonomic knowledge. What could be more obvious than participate in the ÖEG insect camp. For this reason, a BioBlitze took place for the first time this year apart from days of biodiversity. The four-day camp was from 23.6. until 26.6. in the Nature Reserve Leiser Berge in Lower Austria. More than 40 entomologists – both experts and motivated students – took part. Arthropod groups such as beetles, butterflies, hymenoptera, bugs, cicadas, but also spiders and millipedes were collected. In addition to nets, exhausters, leaf suckers and soil sieves, a wide variety of light traps were used during the night. The evenings were also used to determine and to be together comfortably. As a finale, there was a big barbecue together on the last evening.
In addition to morphological identification, the participants were also introduced to DNA-based identification approaches. Interest in DNA barcoding was high among young entomologists. In this ABOL BioBlitz, a malaise trap was set up for the first time in order to expand the species list using metabarcoding.
The Leiser Berge were extraordinarily rich in insect species and abundances. The weather conditions were ideal, especially for flying insects. We are eagerly awaiting the evaluations and re-determinations of the entomologists, as well as the results of the DNA samples.
We would like to say a big thank you for the great organization and excellent catering – especially to Elisabeth Huber from ÖEG, the team from the Nature Reserve Leiser Berge and the team from the Youth Center Oberleis! Thanks also go to all participants and those interested in the ABOL-BioBlitz. It was a great pleasure for us to be able to participate in the insect camp this year!
This year, the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald once again organized a day of biodiversity – on June 10th and 11th – this time in the 16th district of Vienna, Ottakring, with some sites in the 14th district, Penzing. ABOL participated again with a BioBlitz campaign. After a break of several years due to the pandemic, a “Festival of Biodiversity” was celebrated again, with a program for the public, especially for families.
Approximately 80 experts for various groups of animals, fungi and plants took part in this year’s day of biodiversity and tried to detect as many species as possible in the area over the two days. Despite the bad weather on Friday, almost 900 species were recorded over the two days. Some of the species found will be genetically sampled after processing and identification by the experts in the course of the ABOL-BioBlitz and DNA barcodes will be generated, which will ultimately be found as reference data in BOLD (Barcode of Life Database).
The public part began on Friday evening with exciting night tours, where bats and other animals were observed; the Saturday afternoon then offered a varied program with excursions, information stands, a handicraft corner, a micro-theater and culinary delights from the region. ABOL was also represented with an information stand where interested people were informed about the DNA barcoding procedure. So-called biodiversity talks were also held for the first time this year, at which experts discussed hot topics such as the extinction of species and the tension between agriculture and biodiversity.
We would like to thank all participants in the ABOL-BioBlitz and the Biosphärenpark team for the great organization and catering!
Dear ABOL community
We are pleased to announce that our first joint publication on the ABOL BioBlitzes has been published in Acta ZooBot (link). In this context, the DNA barcoding datasets from the BioBlitzes 2019 and 2020 were released in BOLD, the international DNA barcoding platform, and are now available to everyone (download: dx.doi.org/10.5883/DS-ABOLBB19).
The concept of the ABOL BioBlitz combines the Days of Biodiversity with the generation of DNA barcode references from animals, especially insects, which are collected there anyway and identified by experts. In this way we make a significant contribution to the data basis for Austrian biodiversity, but above all valuable and often rarely available taxonomic expertise is digitized by storing the taxonomic determination together with the DNA sequence in a publicly accessible database.
Therefore, we would like to thank the experts who contributed their samples and expertise for their participation in the BioBlitzes and the unpaid efforts, and of course everyone who worked on the manuscript!
With your help, the BioBlitzes become a model example of citizen participation in social goals.
At the same time, we would like to motivate the experts to take part in the ABOL-BioBlitzes 2022 again. Information about this is available here: https://www.abol.ac.at/en/abol-bioblitz-2022/
Publication – Citation and Download:
Sonnleitner, M., Schoder, S., Macek, O., Leeb, C., Bräuchler, C., Haring, E., Dötterl, S., Eckelt, A., Fauster, R., Glatzhofer, E., Graf, W., Gros, P., Heimburg, H., Heiss, E., Hinterstoisser, W., Kirchweger, S., Koblmüller, S., Komposch, C., Link, A., Rabl, D., Rupp, T., Schlager, M., Streinzer, M., Strutzberg, H., Timaeus, L., Wagner, H.C., Wiesmair, B., Zimmermann, D., & Szucsich, N.U. (2022). Beitrag der ABOL-BioBlitze zur österreichischen Biodiversitäts-Erfassung: DNA-Barcodes aus 2019 und 2020. Acta ZooBot Austria, 158, 81–95. CITE DOWNLOAD
Dear ABOL Community
the joint registration page for the ABOL meeting and the Biodiversity Forum is now online.
Please register on the following page: -> Days of Biodiversity – Program & Registration
Abstracts for talks (15 min. + 5 min. discussion) and flash talks (5 min. + 3 min. discussion) can still be submitted for the ABOL meeting on November 30th. Please send your abstract by Nov. 7th by email to: email@example.com. We look forward to your interesting talk!
Unfortunately we have to announce that the ABOL meeting will take place again this year as a pure ONLINE conference. The Covid-19 regulations do not allow a cozy get-together, so we did not consider it useful to hold a face-to-face conference. However, we are confident that the online meeting will also be successful thanks to your help!
The ABOL coordination team
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- Days of Biodiversity 202328. March, 2023 - 16:51
The Days of Biodiversity will be organized this year as a joint conference by ABOL, BOKU, Network Biodiversiy, NOBIS and ZooBot at BOKU in Vienna, so there will be no separate ABOL conference in 2023. The program will be very diverse and is intended to appeal to science, stakeholders and the general public. Planning is […]
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After 2 years of virtual conferences, we were very happy to be able to hold the ABOL annual conference physically again this year. On November 18th the time had come. The 9th ABOL conference took place in the Haus für Natur, Museum Niederösterreich, after the 5th Austrian Biodiversity Forum. As usual, the lecture program was […]
- ABOL goes Zambia14. November, 2022 - 23:43
DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia In early October, ABOL held a DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka together with Prof. Cyprian Katongo. The workshop – as part of the OeAD cooperation development research project “DNA barcoding of Zambia’s biodiversity” (led by the University of Graz) – […]