Biodiversity is reflected on various levels, encompassing the diversity within species (genetic diversity), the diversity between species, and the diversity of ecosystems. A high degree of biodiversity ensures the proper functioning of ecosystems, including agricultural systems, and is important as a gene pool for agricultural breeding or active pharmaceutical ingredients. In Switzerland, agricultural activities have a major impact on biodiversity, which they can both support and reduce.

Within the SAEDN, an indicator is calculated that describes the potential effects of agricultural practice on biodiversity. Based on Jeanneret et al. (2014), the method can be applied to grassland, arable land and semi-natural habitats (e.g. wildflower strips, hedgerows). The following groups of indicator species are taken into consideration:

  • Grassland flora
  • Arable companion flora
  • Birds
  • Small mammals
  • Amphibians
  • Molluscs
  • Spiders
  • Ground beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Wild bees
  • Grasshoppers