Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment

The Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment (BIODIV) team focusses on innovating the way data is sampled in the field to evaluate the spatial and temporal dynamics of living organisms within the Critical Zone. As a national hub at the interface between the scientific community and decision/policy makers in Luxembourg, the BIODIV team makes use and develops cutting-edge technologies to strengthen knowledge and competences on biodiversity monitoring in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems across the country.

KEY EXPERTISE

Understanding biodiversity dynamics

Designing sampling procedures and field data collection approaches for surveying a range of living organisms and evaluating the conservation status of freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems.

Technological innovation for ecological survey and monitoring

Developing applied ecological survey methods combining high-tech devices (e.g. image sensors, acoustic loggers) and artificial intelligence to automate field data collection and management.

Taxonomic expertise

Providing world-leading expertise and pushing back the boundaries of knowledge on the classification of freshwater microalgae and macroinvertebrates.

Analytical approaches and techniques

Applying sophisticated analytical methods (e.g. spatial modelling of species distributions, site occupancy modelling, population trend analyses, capture-mark-recapture analyses) to document and understand biodiversity dynamics in space and time.

MAIN APPLICATIONS

Biodiversity monitoring

Putting large-scale monitoring programmes into action on the ground to document the changing state of biodiversity based on well-designed sampling procedures and innovative technological approaches for field inventories.

Natural resource management

Assessing the impacts of environmental management and ecological restoration strategies and actions on biodiversity.

Science-policy interface on biodiversity

Producing science-based evidence and knowledge to contribute to the development of core biodiversity indicators for the European Environment Agency and to support the Government of Luxembourg in implementing environmental regulations and meeting legal obligations.

Freshwater quality monitoring and surveillance

Using macroinvertebrates and microalgae as indicators of water quality in freshwater ecosystems.

High-level training on diatoms

Offering customized courses on diatom taxonomy and ecology in rivers, lakes and soils for specialists involved in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

Examples of specific applications:

Biodiversity monitoring programme in Luxembourg

Implementing sampling approaches at national scale to document and report on the conservation status of protected species (EU 92/43/EEC Habitats Directive), the threats posed by invasive alien species (EU regulation n°1143/2014), water quality (EU 2000/60/EC Water Framework Directive), or to develop indicators for entire species groups (e.g. butterflies).

Wild pollinator monitoring programme in Luxembourg

Carrying out a national monitoring programme aligned with the EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme to understand insect pollinator decline, its causes and its impacts, and to support the elaboration of an action plan for pollinators in Luxembourg.

Technological innovation for field data sampling and analysis

Developing and implementing automated data retrieval devices (e.g. underwater camera trap for amphibian survey) and novel approaches for biological data analysis based on artificial intelligence, bioinformatics or genetic tools (e.g. Diatombase and Diat.barcode, an open-access barcode library for diatoms).

Environmental change impact assessment

Estimating the combined impacts of multiple environmental drivers of native biodiversity decline (e.g. habitat degradation, climate change, pollution, invasive alien species).

EQUIPMENT

High-tech devices for wildlife camera trapping in a range of ecosystems

Including in house prototype developments.

Targeted groups: forest mammals, underwater amphibians and flying insects

Bioacoustics equipment

Automatic sound recorders

Trapping material

Small mammals traps, butterfly nets, pan-traps, amphibian and crayfish traps

Sampling equipment

Electric fishing material, freshwater macroinvertebrate and diatom sampling equipment

Identification tools

Field binoculars, field cameras, (stereo)microscopes with digital camera, ultra-high-resolution analytical field-emission scanning electron microscope

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

 

KEY PARTNERS

NATIONAL

Administration de la nature et des forêts (ANF)

Administration de la gestion de l’eau (AGE)

Administration des services techniques de l'agriculture (ASTA)

Bee Together

Citizen-science network of volunteer fieldworkers

Consulting companies (e.g. ECOTOP, GEODATA)

Ministère de l’environnement, du climat et du développement durable (MECDD)

National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg (MNHNL)

Naturparks (Mëllerdall, Our, Öewersauer)

natur&ëmwelt

Naturschutzsyndikat (SICONA and SIAS)

INTERNATIONAL

Botanic Garden Meise (BE)

Butterfly Conservation Europe

Directions Régionales Environnement Aménagement Logement (FR)

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (DE)

Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement – INRAe (FR)

Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (BE)

Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology – IRTA (ES)

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – RBGE (UK)

Université catholique de Louvain (BE)

Wageningen University (NL)

Contact

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Nicolas TITEUX
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