SOILDIV: Biodiversity of soil macro-fauna as indicator of biological soil quality – supplementing the indicators for a sustainable development in South Tyrol

PI: Ulrike Tappeiner, Erwin Meyer
Group members: Thomas Peham, Johannes Rüdisser

Duration: 2011-2013

Funding: Autonome Provinz Bozen – Südtirol
Abteilung Bildungsförderung, Universität und Forschung


Sustainable development is one of the guiding themes of the 21st century. The assessment of sustainable development requires monitoring programs. Therefore, South Tyrol has implemented 76 indicators to describe the sustainability in the sectors society, economy and environment on municipality-level ( Due to limited data availability the area of biological diversity is so far not sufficiently covered. In particular an indicator covering faunistic biodiversity is missing.

The soil is not only one of the most diverse ecosystems but also an essential resource for any sustainable form of agriculture. Besides the fact that the highly complex and dynamic interactions amongst soil organisms remain a scientific challenge to be understood, we know that many soil animals fulfil key ecosystem functions, that are the  basis for significant and broadly used ecosystem services.

SOILDIV is a cooperation of the University of Innsbruck and the European Academy of Bozen (EURAC) and aims to develop and test an indicator for soil macro-fauna diversity. The final indicator will be calculated for the whole area of South Tyrol and implemented in the sustainability monitoring program of South Tyrol (




SOILDIV in the media




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