German farmland biodiversity monitoring


 (c) Thünen-Institut/BD

German farmland biodiversity monitoring

Far reaching changes in production systems and in farm management have led to a decline in farmland biodiversity. To counteract this decline, a national database is needed that allows conclusions to be drawn about cause-effect relationships.

Background and Objective

In Germany, around 50 percent of the land is used for agricultural purposes. Therefore, agriculture plays an important role in the conservation and promotion of farmland biodiversity. In particular, land-use and farm management, and closely linked to this, the configuration of agricultural landscapes, are mainly responsible for the decline in farmland biodiversity. Since existing monitoring programmes only allow to a limited extent scientifically reliable conclusions on underlying cause-effect relationships and on evaluations of the effectiveness of agri-environmental policy measures to promote farmland biodiversity, a representative nationwide data basis is required.

In the joint project MonViA, scientists want to provide well-founded answers to the following questions:

  • How does agricultural production, changes in land- use and agricultural structure influence farmland biodiversity?
  • How do changes in farmland biodiversity affect the performance and stability of agricultural production systems?
  • How do agri-environmental policy instruments affect farmland biodiversity?


Blooming agricultural landscape
Blooming agricultural landscape (© Thünen-Institut/Lara Lindermann)

Target Group

Agriculture, science, politics


MonViA is designed to complement existing nature conservation monitoring schemes and starts with a 5-year pilot phase in which standardised sampling methods are developed and feasibility studies for the development of innovative indicator systems are carried out. MonViA consists of three monitoring sections: a nationwide general trend monitoring, a question-based monitoring on specific agricultural issues and a Citizen Science-based monitoring. In the latter case, farmers in particular are to be involved in monitoring activities.
MonViA deals, in addition to the diversity and quality of habitats, with different groups of organisms. The focus is on functional groups (pollinators, pests, beneficial organisms, soil fauna) that are of particular importance for the performance of agricultural production systems.

The scientific conception and development of MonViA is carried out by a total of 12 specialist institutes of the Thünen Institute and the Julius Kühn Institute. The Information and Coordination Centre of Biological Diversity of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food is responsible for the presentation of results for politicians and the public. The overall coordination of the joint project is carried out by the Thünen Institute of Biodiversity.

Links and Downloads

More information on MoViA and all projects are available on the website of the joint-project:


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

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


1.2019 - 12.2024

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing