Project: Generic bio-inventory of functional soil microbial diversity in permanent grassland ecosystems across management and climate gradients

Acronym BIOINVENT (Reference Number: 50)
Duration 31/12/2016 - 30/12/2019
Project Topic The current European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Habitats Directive for 2014 to 2020 point towards an increased agricultural and ecological importance of permanent and extensively managed grassland systems (PEGS). BIOINVENT introduces an innovative, science-based research approach to close remaining knowledge gaps on the efficiency of this agro-ecological scheme to enhance above- and below-ground biodiversity to profit from their support functions to secure ecosystem services (‘provision’ function). The pan-European study scale of BIOINVENT ranging from the Azores to northern Sweden with sub-tropical and boreal climates, respectively, is predestined for yielding a profound understanding of interdependent effects of grassland management (e.g., intensive vs. extensive) and agro-climatic distinctions on soil microbial dynamics and their consequences for central ecosystem services (e.g., ‘support’ and ‘regulation’ functions) (Theme 1 of the current call). BIOINVENT applies a concerted 2-stream approach. In the ‘Research Stream’, all partners apply complementary and process-oriented research activities on farmers’ fields and in controlled field experiments allowing for a spatial assessment of soil microbial diversity and its functional potential across European grasslands. This is a crucial complement to earlier pan-European soil inventories that did not address permanent grasslands and their soil microbial functions. The participatory ‘Outreach Stream’ is simultaneously initialised to engage stakeholders already at the project start (‘collaborate’, ‘involve’) and to disseminate project outcomes (e.g., BIOINVENT tool-box) in an adjusted manner to various stakeholders ranging from non-governmental organisations to decision makers at national and European level (‘consult’, ‘inform’). BIOINVENT contributes greatly to on-going EU-incentives to develop future-oriented management and monitoring objectives to reach optimal protection and utilisation of soil biodiversity and its contribution to various ecosystem services in permanent grassland ecosystems including PEGS that might be applicable to other agro-ecosystems.
Network BiodivERsA3
Call BiodivERsA3 Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Hohenheim Coordinator Germany
2 Regionalentwicklung Oberallgaeu Partner Germany
3 Agroscope, Institute for Sustainability Sciences ISS Partner Switzerland
4 Fundação Gaspar Frutuoso Partner Portugal
5 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Partner Sweden
6 Universidade de Lisboa Partner Portugal