Field Workshops: Overview

FW2018 Austria lichen identification
FW rocky vegetation sampling
FW sampling

Moss identification in the field, sampling vegetation on rocks, fieldwork on steep slopes; photos from EDGG Archive

Since 2009, the EDGG Field Workshops (formerly known as EDGG Research Expeditions) are a major element of the annual activities of EDGG. They aim at the collection of standardised, multi-scale and multi-taxon diversity and composition data (see Dengler et al. 2016) from understudied Palaearctic grassland types. The data collected during the Field Workshops are used for joint publications by the participants and they are fed into the EDGG vegetation-plot database, called GrassPlot (Dengler et al. 2018). While originally only vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and soil data have been collected, we meanwhile aim to include other taxonomic groups that could reasonably be sampled during a once-off visit, including grasshoppers, leaf hoppers, spiders, and butterflies (Dengler et al. 2016; Polchaninova et al. 2018). So far 11 such events took place in different parts of Europe and Asia (Please find detailed information on Past fieldworkshops page). Though the main focus is on plants, scientists interested in other taxonomic groups are welcome to join to conduct surveys on plots.

FW by Idoia Biurrun
FW by Idoia Biurrun

Photos from EDGG Archive

EDGG developed its own survey method composed of 100 meter square biodiversity plots with a nested design as well as standard plots of 10 meter square. Detailed information can be found in files under the heading: EDGG sampling methodology at the end of this page.

We plan for 2019 two Field Workshops one in Armenia and another one in Switzerland. The thematic scope of FW in Switzerland is dry grasslands (Festuco-Brometea, Koelerio-Corynephoretea/Sedo-Scleranthetea, Trifolio-Geranietea) of continental, inneralpine valleys of Switzerland, i.e. in the Cantons of Grisons and Valais. In Armenia, we go for all types of mesic, dry and rocky grasslands that occur in the country along the full elevational gradient (850-3000 m a.s.l.). We hope that all interested EDGG members can participate in at least one of them. Unsuccessful applicants of 2018 will have priority when they apply again.We are looking forward to a good mixture of long-term participants and “newcomers”, of members at different academic levels (from Bachelor students to professors) are the core of the sampling, we are very eager to include also bryophyte and lichen specialists as well as zoologists and/or microbiologists who wish to sample their respective taxonomic groups on the same plots.  Please find detailed information about the events and registration in Fieldworkshop 2019 page. 

EDGG FW fieldwork
EDGG FW plant pressing

Work in the morning, plant pressing in the evening, lunchtime in grasslands; photos by Idoia Biurrun 


Dengler, J. 2018. The beauty of xerothermic vegetation complexes in Ausserberg (Rhone valley, Switzerland). Palaearctic Grasslands 38: 34–38.

Dengler, J., Boch, S., Filibeck, G., Chiarucci, A., Dembicz, I., Guarino,R., Henneberg, B., Janišová, M., Marcenò, C., (…) & Biurrun, I. 2016. Assessing plant diversity and composition in grasslands across spatial scales: the standardised EDGG sampling methodology. Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group 32: 13−30.

Dengler, J., Wagner, V., Dembicz, I., García-Mijangos, I., Naqinezhad, A., Boch, S., Chiarucci, A., Conradi, T., Filibeck, G., (…) & Biurrun, I. 2018. GrassPlot – a database of multi-scale plant diversity in Palaearctic grasslands. Phytocoenologia 48: 331–347.