01.11.2019 31.10.2022
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A weather station for biodiversity (AMMOD)

The Automated Multisensor Stations for Monitoring of BioDiversity (AMMOD) project will enable large-scale automated counting and identification of animal and plant species. Modelled on the weather stations used to record meteorological data, this network of stations which will ultimately cover the whole of Germany is designed to deliver continuous data on biodiversity.

Germany is experiencing a progressive loss of biological diversity, year by year. Several studies have shown that insect and bird numbers in Central Europe have fallen sharply since 1990. However, standardized data collected over many years is only available for a few individual species or species groups, whereas climate research data has been collected for decades and enables researchers to track changes and make climate forecasts.

However, there is still no national, large-scale and standardized programme for species monitoring in Germany. The AMMOD project will develop and consolidate novel technologies with the aim of developing the prototype of a multisensor station to monitor biodiversity that enables a mostly automated, standardized and continuous counting of plant and animal species. The distinctive innovativeness lies in the combination of various sensors which compile complementary information. With the use of artificial intelligence it develops and enhances technologies such as

  • Automated image recognition of mammals, birds and nocturnal insects
  • Automated acoustical recordings and species identification of birds, bats, grasshoppers and frogs
  • Automated analysis of biogenic scents ("smellscapes")
  • Automated sampling of insects, pollen and airborne spores for identification using DNA barcoding (see GBOL project).
AMMOD is a technically sophisticated and innovative project run by a team of researchers from various disciplines. Team coordination lies with the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn (ZFMK) (ZFMK).
 
The BMBF is providing project funding for AMMOD worth 5.7 million euros under the Research Initiative for the Conservation of Biodiversity for a three-year period.

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