About ATBI + M

All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories

All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories (ATBI) are intensive community efforts to identify and record all living species that exist within a given area. These kinds of campaigns allow taxonomists specialized on the study of a particular group of organisms to connect with their colleagues to a more general view of the living world.
An ATBI not only compiles lists of species, but also collects information on habitat, distribution, time and date of occurrences of the observed species, as well as abundance and biology. Despite the fact that the European Union aims at a total halt of biodiversity loss by 2010 (www.countdown2010.net), our knowledge on biodiversity is very limited, even in European habitats. Thus, “All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories” are very important for our knowledge about and the protection of Europe’s biodiversity.
The 'European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy' (EDIT) stimulates All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories in the Spreewald biosphere reserve to apply the science of Taxonomy to the conservation of biodiversity. Together with the Park’s management boards, EDIT coordinates activities from scientists from over 29 mainly EU-based, scientific institutions that thus cooperate to work together on a 'baseline biodiversity assessment' (www.atbi.eu) of this region.
Results of EDIT's ATBIs will be published on this website. For more information on All Taxa Biodiversity Inventories and on EDIT’s activities elsewhere in Europe and the World, please visit www.atbi.eu.

UNESCO-Biosphere Reserve Spreewald – Like a park in a labyrinth of streams

The Spreewald (German for "Spree forest") is situated 100 km south-east of Berlin and is considered as a unique cultural landscape in Central Europe. The Spreewald is known for its traditional irrigation system which consists of more than 200 small channels (called "Fliesse"; total length: 1,300 km) within the 484 km² area. The landscape was shaped during the ice-age. Alder forests on wetlands and pine forests on sandy dry areas are characteristic for the region, however, also grasslands and fields can be found. In 1991 the Spreewald has been designated as biosphere reserve by the UNESCO. Twenty percent of the area of the Biosphere Reserve is declared as nature protection area, the remaining part became landscape conservation area.

Biodiversity of species and habitats

Many species that are threatened or already extinct elsewhere live in the Spreewald biosphere reserve. The white-tailed eagle and osprey are at home here, as are cranes, black stork and otters. A high biodiversity of flora and fauna is present in the reserve. For instance more than 500 plants are on the Red List of endangered species that grow in the water or at the water’s edge, on the meadows and in the forests. The Spreewald biosphere reserve is characterized by a high diversity of habitats such as forested low moor landscape with ramose system of water bodies dominated by alder, common osier and sedges; grassland low moor landscape with ramose system of water bodies with reed canary grass, purple moor grass and Siberian Iris; inland dune pine forest and dry grassland with Scots pine, silver birch and alder buckthorn; old fruit plantations and agro-ecosystems with cucumber and cabbage; forestry systems with alder, ash, oak and pine.