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News article23 October 20201 min read

How to monitor biodiversity in agricultural landscapes


A recent volume titled “Reconciling Agricultural Production with Biodiversity Conservation” contains a collection of contributions summarising research on ways to improve biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, with a focus on temperate agriculture.

The first part of this volume assesses general issues such as landscape approaches, and mapping and assessing the economic value of biodiversity.

Part 2 reviews management practices that promote biodiversity such as field margins, hedgerows, improved pasture management and agroforestry.

JRC scientists, together with DG Environment and Eurostat colleagues, and renowned EU experts co-authored the opening chapter on the challenge of monitoring biodiversity in agricultural landscapes at the EU level.

This chapter looks at ongoing and planned biodiversity surveys, and assesses where we stand in the short- to medium term regarding our knowledge of agrobiodiversity in the EU and which gaps still need to be filled to sufficiently describe biodiversity dynamics.

Transects by expert botanists (a, c) and corresponding surveyors (b, d).
© European Union, LUCAS 2018

This is of utmost importance to harness our capacity to assess the effectiveness of policy measures, and in particular the Green Deal challenges, concerning nature and ecosystems.

The chapter concludes that monitoring efforts at the EU level are heading in the right direction, and are planned to cover the major taxa in the short- to medium term (soil, birds, butterflies, pollinators, grasslands, protected habitats, invasive alien species).

Major efforts are needed to acquire centralised information on genetic resources (traditional breeds, cultivars, landraces, wild crop relatives, traditional and ancient varieties).

The paper highlights the importance of citizen science and new technologies to support large scale monitoring.

Further information

Related Content

Reconciling Agricultural Production with Biodiversity Conservation

European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC)

Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS)

European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN)


Publication date
23 October 2020