Understanding Biodiversity

Research carried out within the BIOTA cluster is the European scientific response to the Convention on Biological Diversity, WEHAB and the European Biodiversity Strategy, and aims to determine and promote strategic approaches to biodiversity conservation and management in Europe. Projects in the BIOTA cluster:

All projects are co-funded by the European Community, most of them under the FP7 Biodiversity values, sustainable use and livelihoods, FP6 Global Change and Ecosystems and under the FP5 Global Change, Climate and Biodiversity Key Action of the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme. For more information on the projects, including direct links to project websites, click on the individual BIOTA project links below. Recently added projects include BiodivERsA2, BioFresh, CoralFISH, HERMIONE, KNEU, REFRESH and SPIRAL. Information will be added soon on BESAFE, BIOMOT, CASCADE and ROBIN.

BIOTA Project Links:

Ongoing projects:

Project Name

Project title

Project duration

BiodivERsA2 Cooperation and shared strategies for biodiversity research programmes in Europe November 2010 - October 2014
BioFresh Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Status, Trends, Pressures, and Conservation Priorities November 2009 - April 2014
CONGRESS Conservation genetic resources for effective species survival May 2010 - April 2013
CoralFISH Ecosystem-based management of corals, fish and fisheries in the deep waters of Europe and beyond June 2008 - May 2012
EBONE European biodiversity observation network April 2008 - March 2012
ECOCHANGE Challenges in assessing and forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem changes in Europe January 2007 - December 2011
HERMIONE Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact On European Seas April 2009 - March 2012
HighArcs Highland Aquatic Resources Conservation and Sustainable Development January 2009 - December 2012
HUNT Hunting for sustainability November 2008 - April 2012
KNEU Creating a network of knowledge for biodiversity and ecosystem services November 2010 - April 2014
LiveDiverse Sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity in riparian areas in developing countries February 2009 - January 2012
PALMS Palm harvest impacts in tropical forests January 2009 - December 2013
REFRESH Adaptive Strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems February 2010 - January 2014
SCALES Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal and Ecological Scales May 2009 - July 2014
SESAME Southern European Seas: Assessing and Modelling Ecosystem Changes November 2006 - October 2010
SOILSERVICE Conflicting demands of land use, soil biodiversity and the sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services in Europe September 2008 - February 2012
SPIRAL Interfacing biodiversity and policy May 2010- July 2013
STEP Status and trends of European Pollinators February 2010 - January 2015

Completed Projects:

Project Name

Project title

End of Project

ALARM Assessing Large Scale Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods January 2009
ALTER-Net A Long-Term biodiversity, Ecosystem and awareness Research network March 2009
BABE Beekeeping and Apis Biodiversity in Europe September 2004
BioAssess Biodiversity assessment tools project July 2003
BioCASE A biological collection access service for Europe January 2005
BIOECON Biodiversity and economics for conservation January 2004
BIOFORUM European biodiversity forum - implementing the ecosystem approach December 2005
BioHab A framework for the coordination of biodiversity and habitats November 2005
BIOMAN A project about biodiversity and human impact in shallow lakes January 2003
BioPlatform European platform for biodiversity April 2005
BioScene Scenarios for reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with declining agricultural use in the mountains of Europe November 2005
BioScore Biodiversity impact assessment using species sensitivity scores February 2009
BioStrat Delivering the EU Biodiversity Strategy October 2010
BIOSTRESS Biodiversity in herbaceous semi-natural ecosystems under stress by global change components December 2002
CASCADE Securing gene conservation, adaptive and breeding potential of a model multipurpose tree species (Castanea sativa) in a changing environment October 2003
Coast Bird Diversity Maintaining migratory coastal bird diversity: management through behaviour-based predictive population modelling December 2004
COCONUT Understanding effects of land use changes on ecosystems to halt loss of biodiversity due to habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation November 2008
CONSIDER Conservation of soil organism diversity under global change February 2007
CRAYNET European crayfish as keystone species-linking science, management and economics with sustainable environmental quality November 2005
DAISIE Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe January 2008
EDIT European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy February 2011
ENBI The European Network for Biodiversity Information December 2005
EPRECOT Effects of precipitation change on terrestrial ecosystems - a workshop and networking activity December 2006
EVOLTREE Evolution of trees as drivers of terrestrial biodiversity September 2010
EuMon EU-wide monitoring methods and systems of surveillance for species and habitats of Community interest April 2008
EuroCat The catalogue of life: biodiversity resource and e-science gateway January 2006
Euro-limpacs Integrated project to evaluate impacts of global change on European freshwater ecosystems January 2009
EUR-OCEANS European network of excellence for ocean ecosystems analysis December 2008
Fauna Europaea European advantages in biodiversity indexing and infrastructures October 2004
Euro+Med PlantBase The information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity August 2003
Fossilva Dynamics of forest tree biodiversity: linking genetic, paleogenetic and plant historical approaches September 2003
FRAP Framework for biodiversity Reconciliation Action Plans April 2006
FRAXIGEN Ash for the future: defining European ash populations for conservation and regeneration June 2005
GEM-CON-BIO Governance and ecosystems management for the conservation of biodiversity January 2008
Giant Alien Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) a pernicious invasive weed: developing a sustainable strategy for alien invasive plant management in Europe April 2005
GLOCHAMORE Global change in mountain regions October 2005
HERMES Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas March 2009
IMEW Integrated Management of European Wetlands July 2004
IntraBioDiv Tracking surrogates for intraspecific biodiversity: towards efficient selection strategies for the conservation of natural genetic resources using comparative mapping and modelling approaches December 2006
LACOPE Landscape development, biodiversity and co-operative livestock systems in Europe October 2006
LEDA Traitbase A database on the life history of the Northwest European flora October 2005
LifeWatch E-Science and Technology Infrastructure for Biodiversity Data and Observatories March 2011
MACIS Minimisation of and Adaptation to Climate change: Impacts on biodiverSity November 2008
MacMan Maculinea butterflies of the habitats directive and European Red List as indicators and tools for habitat conservation and management January 2006
MarBEF Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning January 2009
Marine Genomics Europe Implementation of high-throughput genomic approaches to investigate the functioning of marine ecosystems and the biology of marine organisms February 2008
Metabird Viability of bird metapopulations February 2003
MIDI-CHIP Designing and testing DNA microarrays as a molecular tool to monitor the diversity of freshwater cyanobacteria in European lakes October 2003
MODELKEY Models for assessing and forecasting the impact of environmental key pollutants on marine and freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity January 2010
PASCALIS Protocols for the assessment and conservation of aquatic life in the subsurface December 2004
PESI A Pan-European species-directories infrastructure January 2011
PGR Forum European crop wild relative diversity assessment and conservation forum October 2005
Plant Dispersal Dynamics of plant dispersal-related traits in fragmented European habitats: consequences for species survival and landscape management September 2003
RECIPE Reconciling commercial exploitation of peat with biodiversity in peatland ecosystems May 2006
REGHAB Reconciling gamebird hunting and biodiversity May 2002
RUBICODE Rationalising biodiversity conservation in dynamic ecosystems March 2009
PROBIOPRISE Creating a European Platform for SMEs and other stakeholders to develop a research programme for pro-biodiversity business August 2007
SoBio Mobilising the European social research potential in support of biodiversity and ecosystem management January 2006
TESS Transactional Environmental Support System March 2011
TLinks Trophic linkages between above and below ground organisms as a key to successful restoration of biodiversity on ex-arable land across Europe April 2005
TRANSPLANT Determining the extinction risks and the re-introduction of plant species in a fragmented Europe February 2004


European Commission contact point:

Sofie Vandewoestijne
Policy Officer - Biodiversity and Ecosystems Unit DI-3 Management of Natural Resources
Office address: CDMA 03/172 Directorate General for Research European Commission
Mailing address: European Commission B-1049 Brussels

Website coordinator:

Dr Juliette Young
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Bush Estate
Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, UK