Preparation for the summer fieldwork

Despite the enduring winter, the landscape geneticists and entomologists have already started to organise summer fieldwork. The FuncNet project meeting in Leuven, Belgium, last week also discussed how supportive this spring's weather will be and whether the pollinators of cowslips that have not been observed because of the previous cool spring can now be recorded.

Last spring presented a challenge for many field workers - the rainfall and strong wind in April significantly interfered fieldworks and did not allow the necessary amount of pollinators to be observed. This is also due to climate change, which is likely to make spring more volatile and present a challenge to all fieldworkers.

"In addition to the decision to repeatedly look at the pollinators of cowslips, together with our partners in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden, we will go a little further with the research of plant-pollinator networks and collect samples from two countries for the analysis of metabarcoding - on two landscapes in each country and on ten patches of grassland in each landscape," said Tsipe Aavik, head of the Project and Landscape Biodiversity Workgroup, and associate professor of macroecology. "We will continue to interview the land users as well. Thus, a busy summer lies ahead!"

International joint project FuncNet is gaining speed - young scientists Epp Valdaru from Estonia, Olivia Bernhardsson from Belgium and Marie Ende from Germany have joined the team.

The joint project called FuncNet led by the University of Tartu and consisting of researchers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden will improve understanding of the spatio-temporal effects of the area and structural connectivity of semi-natural grasslands - the hotspots of European biodiversity - on various aspects of plant-pollinator interactions in European rural landscapes.

More information:

Tsipe Aavik

University of Tartu Landscape Biodiversity Group

J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu, ESTONIA

Aveliina Helm / +372 5553 8679 /
Tsipe Aavik / +372 516 1187 /