Eichhörnchen © LIFEPLAN


Over the course of six years samples on various species of animals and fungi are collected in the Botanic garden as well as in other locations around the globe. The aim is to create a planetary inventory of life.

At present, an estimated 80 % of all species on Earth still await discovery. At the same time, we are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. There is an urgent need to make sense of patterns and processes in biodiversity – while dealing with the unknown in an efficient way.

LIFEPLAN aims to establish the current state of biodiversity across the globe and to use the insights for generating accurate predictions of its future state under future scenarios. Biological diversity will be characterized through a worldwide sampling program on a broad range of taxonomical groups. At the same time, bioinformatic and statistical approaches are being developed to make the most out of these data.

The project employs modern sampling methods that do not require taxonomical expertise from those collecting the data, and that will result in data that are directly comparable among different locations.

Together with the city of Vienna (MA 22 and 49), the University of Vienna participates in the project. In the Botanic Garden, the effects of urbanization on biodiversity are studied. In the Lainzer Tiergarten, an old growth forest serves as near-natural counterpart.

Data in the garden are collected with insect traps, soil samples, wildlife cameras, audio recorders and a spore sampler. Please don't touch the equipment, if you encounter it in the garden.

Further information: LIFEPLAN | University of Helsinki and