‘Scale’ symbols (1 km2 survey square and 10m2 circle) and ‘investigated object’ symbols (habitat types, plant species, breeding-bird species and butterfly species)

ALL-EMA is tasked with monitoring the agriculture-related environmental objectives pertaining to biodiversity. The term ‘biodiversity’ encompasses various life forms (animals, plants, fungi and bacteria) and describes their diversity on various levels (ecosystems, habitats, species, genes), as well as how they stand in relation to one another. Within this comprehensive concept, ALL-EMA focuses on habitat and species diversity in the Swiss agricultural landscape and describes it by means of indicators. Individual indicators depict specific aspects of habitat and species diversity. Mutually complementary indicators, combined in a set, allow a more comprehensive description of biodiversity in agricultural land.

ALL-EMA therefore calculates a set of main and additional indicators that are used for monitoring habitat and species diversity, as well as for evaluating biodiversity priority areas.

The first ALL-EMA survey cycle (i.e. in which all 170 survey squares were surveyed once) was concluded in 2019. The data were analysed and summarised in the Agriculture-related Environmental Objectives Status Report on Biodiversity. Hence, Swiss-wide findings on the state of biodiversity in the Swiss agricultural landscape are now available for the first time. The future survey cycles will allow us to analyse changes in this state.

More-detailed information and results from the first survey cycle for all indicators can be found in the Status Report.

Main indicators

  1. Habitat diversity
  2. Spatial heterogeneity of habitats
  3. Average diversity of habitat-type species
  4. Species diversity (γ-diversity)
  5. Average species diversity (α-diversity)

Besides these five main indicators, further additional indicators are consulted for a more in-depth examination of habitat and species diversity.

Additional indicators

  • Sampling areas with invasive neophytes
  • Species diversity of threatened species (γ-diversity)
  • Average species diversity of threatened species (α-diversity)
  • Dissimilarity of the plant communities (β-diversity)
  • Average nutrient indicator values of the plant species
  • Wooded areas
  • Water bodies


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