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Review article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Farmland biodiversity monitoring through citizen science: A review of existing approaches and future opportunities

Ruck, Andy; van der Wal, Rene; Hood, Amelia S. C.; Mauchline, Alice L.; Potts, Simon G.; WallisDeVries, Michiel F.; Ockinger, Erik


Biodiversity monitoring in agricultural landscapes is important for assessing the effects of both land use change and activities that influence farmland biodiversity. Despite a considerable increase in citizen science approaches to biodiversity monitoring in recent decades, their potential in farmland-specific contexts has not been systematically examined. This paper therefore provides a comprehensive review of existing citizen science approaches involving biodiversity monitoring on farmland. Using three complementary methods, we identify a range of programmes at least partially covering farmland. From these, we develop a typology of eight programme types, reflecting distinctions in types of data collected and nature of volunteer involvement, and highlight their respective strengths and limitations. While all eight types can make substantial contributions to farmland biodiversity monitoring, there is considerable scope for their further development-particularly through increased engagement of farmers, for whom receiving feedback on the effects of their own practices could help facilitate adaptive management.


Agricultural landscapes; Biodiversity monitoring; Citizen science; Farmer engagement; Review; Typology

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2024, Volume: 53, number: 2, pages: 257-275
Publisher: SPRINGER

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        Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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