Estimating the cost of different strategies for measuring farmland biodiversity: Evidence from a Europe-wide field evaluation

S. Targetti, F. Herzog, I.R. Geijzendorffer, R.H.G. Jongman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Forty percent of the EU land area is currently considered to be agriculturally managed (utilised agricul-tural area – UAA – Eurostat Agricultural Census 2010), and attention to the environmental performanceof farming practices is growing. To determine the performance of agricultural practices, farm-scale mon-itoring programmes are required but their implementation is hampered by a number of difficulties suchas the identification of broadly applicable indicators appropriate for different biogeographic locations,and the evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of different monitoring approaches. In this paper, wefocus on the costs of farm-scale biodiversity monitoring, presenting results from a Europe-wide costdata collection in the EU FP7 BioBio Project. Firstly, we present an analytical assessment of resourcesconsumed by the research units and a cost estimation for the measurement of six biodiversity-relatedparameters: farm habitats, vegetation, wild bees and bumblebees, spiders, earthworms and farm man-agement. Thereafter, we estimate a standardised cost for an ordinary measurement of the six parametersat farm-scale. In doing so, we highlight the cost differences between three strategies involving differentpotential actors (professional agencies, farmers, volunteers). This analysis demonstrates that producingreliable data on monitoring costs requires a large sample pool of farms and farm types, as was the casein the BioBio project. The cost standardisation allowed us to estimate a cost for biodiversity monitoringranging between D 2700 and D 8200 per farm, depending on the chosen strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-443
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • conservation
  • indicators
  • scale
  • management
  • challenge
  • habitats
  • payments
  • lessons
  • ecology
  • forests


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