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The last BioBlitz this year was carried out by ABOL in the course of the Biodiversity Day in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The study area ranged from montane to alpine altitudes in the upper Mur valley in the national park municipality of Muhr im Lungau. The JUFA Hotel in St. Michael, the Sticklerhütte and the Rotgüldenseehütte served as bases. A total of 64 experts on 25 different groups of organisms took part in the Biodiversity Day; many of them also participated in the ABOL BioBlitz.

Unfortunately, heavy rainfalls accompanied the event – not a good precondition for successful surveys. On the one hand, many species were not active and also the experts had problems to move forward in the often steep and slippery terrain. Nevertheless, due to persistence and creativity a considerable number of species could again be detected. As planned, some researchers set up their light traps already on Friday evening to attract nocturnal insects – especially butterflies. Fortunately, the temperatures did not drop very much, so that many, mostly characteristic mountain species, could already be surveyed during this action. In addition, five bat species were detected by sound detectors. Naturally, most of the species were recorded by the botanists, which were able to work even in bad weather by the persevering group. The data recording in this case was mainly done via the app ObsMapp (observation.org).

In the course of a pleasant get-together at the JUFA Hotel on Sunday morning, the results and findings of the last two days were discussed, there was also opportunity to exchange ideas with other experts and and to give the participants a short summary of the BioBlitzes from the past two years.

We would like to thank the National Park team for the excellent organization, the transport with shuttle busses and the nice accommodations. A big thank you from our side also to all who participated again in the ABOL-BioBlitz action!

Impressiones from the study area (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):

In Tyrol, ABOL was once again able to participate in the Day of Biodiversity with a BioBlitz Initiative. Selected areas in the Nature Park Kaunergrat were examined – from wet to dry, lean meadows to bog areas, boulder fields, alpine meadows and alpine grasslands. In addition to butterfly experts, who began their surveys with light traps on Friday evening, experts on beetles, grasshoppers, flies, hymenoptera, birds, mammals, plants and fungi took part in the event. On Saturday, the participants flocked to the various survey areas to compile as comprehensive a species list as possible by late afternoon. Finally, at 16h, an invitation was extended to the Experts’ Coffee in the Nature Park House “Gacher Blick”, where there was time to exchange ideas and to let the Day of Biodiversity come to a pleasant end. A final presentation of the results will take place this year for the first time in autumn – probably partly online.

We would like to thank all participants of the ABOL BioBlitz! A big thank also goes to the organisers of the Day of Biodiversity, who managed with great spontaneity to move the planned event location from the Pfundser Tschey to the Kaunergrat Nature Park and still provide perfect catering and accommodation.

Impressions from the study area: (Photos: C. Leeb):

The third ABOL BioBlitz of this year took place as part of the GEO day of nature in the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge in Carinthia. 70 experts and companions surveyed animal, plant and fungus species at the basis of the Zunderwand and in the vicinity of the Erlacherhaus. Due to the special geological situation, where limestone islands protrude from the silicate bedrock, the diversity of species is particularly great here, as lime- and silicate-loving species coexist. The focus was also on the numerous peculiarities occurring here, especially species that are very rare or only narrowly distributed. The study area was rich in different habitats such as pastures, limestone grasslands, rock crevices and scree slopes, bogs, drainage fields and creeks. Therefore, more than 1180 species could be registered within 24 hours. The beautiful weather also contributed to the success. On the other hand, there were also groups that were surprisingly rarely found, such as bumblebees, whose main season had obviously not yet started. However, the exact number of species that was recorded will only be known after extensive post-processing by the respective experts. We hope for active participation in the ABOL BioBlitz and are confident that we can close one or the other gap in the DNA barcode reference data for Austria.

We would like to thank the organizers and the participants in the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressions from the event and the study area (Photos: M. Sonnleitner):

For the third time, ABOL was able to participate at the Day of Biodiversity in the Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald with a BioBlitz action. Around 70 biodiversity experts explored the Eichgraben municipal area on June 18th and 19th, 2021 in order to record as much fauna, flora and funga species as possible. Although the conditions were not ideal for some groups of animals and plants – many meadows had been mowed shortly before and there was high temperature and drought – more than 1,300 species could be detected this year. DNA barcodes will be generated from some of them after they have been identified and processed by the experts in the course of the ABOL BioBlitz campaign.

The first nature enthusiasts arrived on Friday morning in search of species – the last ones set up their light traps on Friday night to attract and detect various nocturnal insects. On Saturday morning, experts poured out into the municipality again and tried to compile a list of species as comprehensive as possible by early afternoon. The old nursery in the village of Eichgraben served as a base, where the Biosphere Reserve team took care of the well-being of the participants and provided lunch packages and cold drinks. Unfortunately, due to the Corona-regulations, no public event like in the years before the pandemic could take place this year. For those interested, however, there was the opportunity to take part in various nature excursions.

We would like to thank the Biosphere Reserve team for the excellent organization and all those who participated in the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressiones from the study area (Photos: C. Leeb, M. Sonnleitner):

The first ABOL BioBlitz 2021 took place on June 11th and 12th, at the Danube Island (Donauinsel) during the 20th Vienna Day of Biodiversity organized by the departments of the municipality of Vienna for environmental protection and water. Numerous biodiversity experts swarmed out to record the fauna, flora and funga of the Donauinsel, especially in the area of ​​Wehr 1 and Tritonwasser, whereby samples were also collected for the creation of DNA barcodes.

Experts met on Friday evening to attract moths and other nocturnal insects with numerous light traps. On Saturday, when the weather was mostly fine, the well-developed, species-rich meadows around the basecamp were investigated. Not only the honey bee was strongly represented on the numerous flowering Knautia individuals but also the solitary bee Andrena hattorfiana, which is an oligolectic species feeding on Knautia pollen and a few other Dipsacaceae. Even the parasite of A. hattorfiana, Nomada armata, could be detected. Numerous other insect species were found in the meadows. The nearby Triton water with beautiful silting zones in which water frogs could be found in large numbers was particularly interesting for the amphibia experts. It is particularly gratifying that – although the data reporting has not yet been completed – with Trigoniophthalmus alternatus, a representative of the large group of bristletails, a new record for Vienna has already been booked.
Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, no public event could take place this year, but it should be rescheduled at the same place next year.
We would like to thank the organizers and the participants of the ABOL BioBlitz!

Impressions from the study area (Photos: N. Szucsich, C. Leeb, M. Sonnleitner):

After two successful runs in 2019 and 2020 ABOL BioBlitzes are already well known in the community . This year we will again take part in the Days of Biodiversity and call collectors to take part in the ABOL BioBlitz campaign. The aim is to sample collected and determined animals (especially insects) for genetic analysis. Thereby, added value can be created – we can contribute to the DNA barcoding database, secure the determination and convey an innovative method.

More information: ABOL BioBlitz 2021

For the first time this year, we are also offering Data Workshops in which the handling of DNA barcoding data and the international BOLD database can be learned and practiced. The online workshops can be attended by collectors and other interested persons. The dates are set as required. If you are interested, please send an email to Oliver.Macek@nhm-wien.ac.at.

More information: Data workshops

Due to the situation, this year’s Tyrolean Day of Biodiversity was for the first time held in autumn (September 4th and 5th) and ABOL was on board again. The municipality of Kössen near the Bavarian border was the chosen location. In wonderful late summer weather, the butterfly experts swarmed out on Friday evening and set up their light constructions in order to attract as many nocturnal insects as possible. On Saturday, the experts were out all day in the vicinity of Kössen to record and collect animals and plants. The study areas were very diverse: The Kaltenbachmoos – a peat bog, the Entenlochklamm / “Antenloch” – an impressive gorge, the Loferberg – a largely wooded area, and the region near the Straubingerhaus – a mosaic of montane forests and pastures. A special highlight was the rafting excursion in the Entenlochklamm, during which river banks and caves were screened for traces of mammals. E.g. beaver, marten, otter and fox tracks were sighted, supplemented by the discovery of a dead water shrew.
The expert café, the presentation of the results and the dinner gave us the opportunity to exchange ideas and for networking. Thanks to all experts for providing tissue samples for DNA barcoding, as well as to the organization team for the smooth organization and the good food!

Impressions from the study area (Photos: S. Schoder, M. Sonnleitner):

Dear ABOL and DNA barcoding community,

maybe there it is now – more time to read. To make sure to provide enough reading stuff, we would like to draw your attention to two very exciting publications on the topic of DNA barcoding:
In plants, a reliable species identification with only one genetic marker is not yet possible. Therefore, the sequencing of entire chloroplast genomes becomes increasingly popular. However, this is a very cost intensive way to document regional and national floras. At the ABOL conference, Harald Meimberg (BOKU) presented a solution by means of a multi-marker approach. An alternative method is described in the first publication presented here:
Inger Alsos et. al promote Genome Skimming as a method that, in addition to freshly collected plant material, also makes the valuable treasures in the herbaria for DNA barcoding and other genomic analyzes accessible. The success rates for herbarium material were very high for most plant families – the three DNA barcoding markers (ITS2, matK and rbcL) could be obtained in more than 1000 genera from 160 families. The authors recommend Genome Skimming of herbarium material as an efficient and relatively inexpensive method for creating DNA barcodes and genomic studies.

Citation: Alsos, I.G., Lavergne, S., Merkel, M.K.F., Boleda, M., Lammers, Y., Alberti, A., Pouchon, C., Denoeud, F., Pitelkova, I., Pușcaș, M., Roquet, C., Hurdu, B.-I., Thuiller, W., Zimmermann, N.E., Hollingsworth, P.M., Coissac, E. The Treasure Vault Can be Opened: The Treasure Vault Can be Opened: Large-Scale Genome Skimming Works Well Using Herbarium and Silica Gel Dried MaterialPlants 2020, 9, 432.

The second publication emphasizes the need for standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring in order to be able to recognize changes in the insect fauna in terms of abundance, species numbers and species composition. The authors around Axel Hausmann carried out comparative studies of the insect fauna in southern Germany in organic and conventional farmland using Malaise traps and light traps. Not only the species composition was recorded using DNA metabarcoding, but also the biomass and certain biological traits. Expectedly, for butterflies higher species numbers and biomass as well as higher numbers of red list species were detected in organic farmland compared with conventionally treated agricultural areas. The methodology presented here represents a time and cost efficient standardizable approach to insect monitoring.

Citation: Hausmann, A.Segerer, A.H.Greifenstein, T., Knubben, J., Moriniére, J., Bozicevic, V., Doczkal, D., Günter, A., Ulrich, W., Habel, J.C. Toward a standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring schemeEcol Evol202000112.

Recently, the description of a fungus species of Inocybe section Marginatae, Inocybe antoniniana, was published. Up to now, the species is known from Austria, Germany and Turkey. The preferred habitats of the mycorrhizal fungus are beech forests, partly mixed with other tree species. The new species has been described in detail with illustrations of micro- and macromorphology, as well as genetically using ITS sequences. The Austrian collection stems from Upper Austria, near Vöcklabruck. Thus we can register another species new for science and new for Austria within the framework of ABOL (HRSM project fungi, University of Vienna).

Publication:

Bandini, D., Sesli, E., Oertel, B., & Krisai-Greilhuber, I. (2020). Inocybe antoniniana, a new species of Inocybe section Marginatae with nodulose spores. Sydowia, 72, 95–106. Cite

Dear ABOL community,

this year, the ABOL meeting took place in Innsbruck for the first time. Gorgeous winter weather formed the framework for the 3-day event, which consisted of the first D-A-CH User Group Meeting (UGM) on the subject of DNA methods in environmental management and the 6th ABOL meeting. The first two days with top-class lectures and interesting discussions were dedicated to the application of DNA-based methods in environmental monitoring and implementation at the legal level. At the method pitch, the participants could explore details about different methods. The last day’s ABOL meeting amended the scientific basis of DNA barcoding and the important issue of creating reliable references that are essential for further applications. The breadth of international participation and the diversity of the presentations ideally reflected the opening up of ABOL to the entire biodiversity community. We thank all speakers for the exciting contributions and all participants for coming!
Special thanks go to Michael Traugott and his team for the perfect organization and last but not least for the world premiere of the first genetic determination of a Krampus at the conference dinner :-)

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope for fruitful cooperation next year.

Best Regards,

the ABOL coordination team
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Some impressions from the DACH-UGM and ABOL meeting (Photos by Veronika Neidel and Michaela Sonnleitner):