Digitization of soil invertebrate data from community science inventories of urban greenspaces in Amsterdam

In recent years, awareness of the biodiversity value of urban greenspaces in the Netherlands has grown and neighborhood citizen groups increasingly value the natural beauty and importance for education of their local, often very small, greenspaces. In line with this, since 2019, Taxon Expeditions has organized ‘urban expeditions’ in 13 greenspaces in Amsterdam, the aim of which has been to form teams of both community scientists from the neighborhood and professional biodiversity experts and to carry out high-quality explorations of soil invertebrates of urban greenspaces.

Each ‘expedition’ entailed training for the community scientists in field methods for biodiversity sampling and techniques for preserving, studying, and identifying soil invertebrates. Each expedition also yielded large numbers of specimens that were worked up into permanent collection specimens, and identified by the participating experts. The results were published in reports and papers, partly authored with the community scientists. We now have a rich baseline of soil invertebrates from these greenspaces, which reveal important ecological patterns. A digitization of the data, carried out by the non-profit Taxon Foundation, will provide a baseline of soil fauna data from these greenspaces. In this project, we aim to carry out a full digitization of identified and curated soil fauna specimens from all expeditions, to serve as a permanent record for Amsterdam. We will involve the community scientists in the digitization projects for their own neighborhoods and so create awareness of the availability and importance of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility for urban nature.