Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

Monitoring biological diversity in agricultural landscapes with remote sensing


Logo MonViA Fernerkundung (c) Landsat-5-Bilder mit freundlicher Unterstützung des U.S. Geological Survey
Unterschiedliche Feldgrößen in West- und Ostdeutschland aus der Sicht des Landsat-5-Satelliten am 06. August 1989. (© Landsat-5-Bilder mit freundlicher Unterstützung des U.S. Geological Survey)

Overall trend monitoring at national scale: spatially explicit land use data - remote sensing

A long-term monitoring of biological diversity at national level requires a representative data basis about the state and development of agricultural landscape. To achieve this, the project MonViFE develops spatially explicit indicators of landscape structure and land-use intensity.

Background and Objective

The maintenance and increase of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes built a major goal of the “agri-environment-climate measures” (AECM) in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU. Biological diversity is closely related to the existence of habitat features that meet the requirements of different taxonomic groups. Single groups in most cases show individual criteria. Thus, a monitoring of habitat features must be tailored to a distinct set of target groups.

Satellite data, today, are not (yet) able to detect single individual plants or insects. But, they are capable of mapping defined habitat features at large spatial scales that provide information about the nature value of single fields or landscapes.

The overall goal of the project is the setup of an area-wide, spatially explicit trend monitoring at national level for the quantitative analysis of landscape structure and agricultural land-use intensity within these landscapes. For this, a set of indicators will be established that covers a variety of aspects at landscape (landscape structure, landscape elements) and field level (management intensity) in cropland and grassland areas. The Sentinel earth observation satellites (i.e. Sentinel-1 and -2) of the Copernicus-program from European Space Agency (ESA) provide the basis for this spatial modelling approach in a nation-wide monitoring project.


The coordination of works is done close cooperation with Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI). Both institutions aim at building a joint data center and IT-infrastructure for the processing and storage of remote sensing data at national level for Germany.

Links and Downloads

The work is part of the interdisciplinary project "MonViA - Monitoring biological diversity in agricultural landscapes".


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Julius Kühn-Institut - Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen
    (Braunschweig, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


10.2019 - 12.2024

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing