Project within the framework of the FONA “Forschungsinitiative zum Erhalt der Artenvielfalt” on the topic of “Valuing and safeguarding biodiversity in politics, economy and society” – conception phase
In view of the ongoing insect mortality and increasing biodiversity losses, various measures to promote biodiversity are currently being proposed, researched and implemented at different levels. In this context, the interdisciplinary project BioDivKultur is primarily dedicated to insect conservation on green spaces of cities/municipalities, businesses and agriculture.
Species-rich grassland areas (meadows and pastures) are known to provide a habitat for many insects. However, there are also habitats in parks, green strips (field margins, roadside verges) and commercial green spaces that are similar to grassland and can or could provide suitable habitats for a large number of insect species. In this context, those who own, manage, and/or maintain such areas face a variety of design decisions, ranging from the basic question of what open green space should remain (in addition to structuring it with trees, shrubs/hedges, water, beds, dead wood, etc.) to options for shaping the green space itself (e.g., through overgrowth and mowing). These decisions are made against the backdrop of different value attitudes towards nature, different use interests (e.g., recreation, aesthetics, safety, agricultural yield, securing ecosystem services), and pragmatic constraints (e.g., cost and time required for maintenance).
The BioDivKultur project, in which biologists work together with humanities scholars and social scientists, is dedicated to value attitudes, interests of use, options for action, and possibilities for regulation in the design and maintenance of green spaces. The aim is to investigate and test how biodiversity as a value and as an interest in use can become more effective in communicative, political and practical terms in the design of green spaces (understood as the establishment of multi-layered “biodiversity cultures”). The specific biological focus will be on options for better insect conservation in open green spaces of urban, commercial, and agricultural areas, especially in the context of mowing (mowing technique, frequency, and timing; distribution of mowed areas and refugia in the context of the respective framing structures; selection of plant communities and seed choice).
The data collection will be carried out in three model cities of different federal states (Darmstadt, Bamberg, Göttingen). Local stakeholders from the field will be involved (in Darmstadt, for example, BUND and the environmental office of the city of Darmstadt) to jointly promote knowledge, acceptance and feasibility of more effective insect conservation.further information
- Prof. Dr. Nico Blüthgen (FB Biology/Ecological Networks; Spokesperson)
- Dr. Nadja Simons (FB Biology/Ecological Networks)
- Prof. Dr. Nina Janich (FB Social and Historical Sciences/Germanic Linguistics)
- Prof. Dr. Markus Lederer (FB Social and Historical Sciences/International Relations)
- Prof. Dr. Alfred Nordmann (FB Social and Historical Sciences/Philosophy of Science and Technology)