news-15 May 2024 - written by:Pauline Pels

Every year we organize, together with you, a biodiversity measurement and post the result in our open data source. By measuring the different species of plants, we gain insight into the development of these relatively new ecosystems in food forests. Will you measure with us, between May 15 and June 30?

Biodiversity Measurement 2024

Project: Measure your food forest harvest

In 2020, we started this low-threshold citizen science project. This allows us to prove together that food forests do indeed improve biodiversity, store CO2 like no other farming system, and will produce fantastic harvests after a few years. This is of value to science, evidence for the movement, but also useful on an individual level. We do the measurements using very simple, but scientifically validated tests and measurements.

What do we measure with the biodiversity test?

In this test, we measure only the annual and perennial plants in the herb layer of your food forest. The diversity of the total of these plants is rated. In addition, the species list that gets more and more value for science. It also teaches us about succession, or variation by soil type or region. After the test, you get immediate feedback on how your food forest is doing compared to similar food forests.

Why is that important?

By measuring the different types of plants, we gain insight into the development of these relatively new ecosystems. This is valuable for numerous studies, but also to prove in numbers how biodiverse food forests are. Also, this is the only study that can measure in hundreds of different locations and soil types (thanks to you!) and so we also get a picture of the Netherlands, of different soil types and of different initial situations. Think grass, field, or forest for example.

Open Data Source

By collecting and sharing this data, you contribute directly to the Open Data Source. Most other research that is done first remains private for a few years and is often not shared as bare data even then. We choose to make the growing evidence base immediately freely accessible to anyone who wants to draw knowledge from it. Wageningen University, but also any other scientist or interested party. This is unique!

Will you participate this year?

The 2024 biodiversity test will take place between May 15 and June 30.

This test takes a maximum of half an hour per hectare of food forest in the field.(See instructions in the field guide PDF)
In this video, Marieke explains the best way to measure.