Making nature's achievements visible
Natural services are the services provided by nature that ensure human well-being. These include the fact that nature provides us with clean water, clean air and raw materials. It binds carbon dioxide and thus contributes to climate protection and we can enjoy and relax in it. The AgoraNatura flower makes it visible at a glance which of currently six services provided by nature are supported by a project.
The AgoraNatura flower
The services of nature
What the flower shows
Each petal represents a natural achievement. The colours make visible which one it is. White petals mean that no effect is recorded or achieved for this natural achievement.
The fill level of the leaves shows how valuable the area is for the respective performance. Three gradations are possible. The way the leaf is filled shows whether a natural service is supported by the project or is already present on the area:
- Full-colour areas represent effects achieved by the project.
- Shaded areas represent effects that are also present without the project. They are therefore not attributed to the AgoraNatura project, but contribute to the value of the area for biodiversity and nature services.
This flower could be part of a project to be implemented on the arable land of an organic farm. The most important goal is the preservation of a very valuable diversity of field wild herbs.
- The full-colour area in the petal "Diversity Plants" makes it visible that very many or very special field wild herbs can be preserved on the area with the project.
- The shaded light green part shows that even without the project, with purely ecological use of the area, part of this valuable plant population will remain. The other part, however, will not find good living conditions without the project and will probably disappear.
The concrete use not only has effects on the diversity of plants. It also creates valuable habitat for wildlife (dark green) and has a positive effect on groundwater quality (blue). However, since the ecological use of the area already has positive effects on these two services, the areas in these petals are shown hatched. The flower thus shows you that not all effects are achieved through the funding of the project, but that these are also supported.
The natural services in detail
It is about the preservation or development of diverse plant communities or endangered wild plant species. For example, in the case of a cultivated field, this requires larger distances between the plants sown for harvesting, weeds must not be controlled and the area must be fertilised only very little. In this way, the farmer achieves lower yields, but provides good living conditions for endangered species such as lambs lettuce or cuckoo's bane.
This is about valuable habitat for wild animal species. Monotonous monocultures and landscapes with few structures are eliminated. Landscape elements such as stones, deadwood or the creation of varied plant stands or feeding areas create habitats for birds, amphibians and others.
Genetic diversity within species makes the third level of the Biodiversity out. It is the basis for plants and animals to adapt to changing habitat conditions, environmental influences or diseases. If, for example, fruit trees are propagated with special varieties or seeds are transferred from neighbouring areas when flower strips are planted, this contributes specifically to the protection of genetic diversity.
Insects such as bees, bumblebees, beetles and butterflies play a central role in the pollination of cultivated and wild plants. They are thus indispensable for the preservation of numerous habitats and for our food. Projects that make effects visible here create manifold flowering dreams over as long a period as possible. And they create elements in which pollinating insects can feed their offspring and overwinter.
Many Ecosystems have the special ability to absorb carbon (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. Wet peatlands are the best carbon reservoirs, but grazed grassland on peat soils with a high groundwater level is also good for the climate. To reduce the release of greenhouse gases, such areas must therefore be kept wet or rewetted. This severely restricts any other use, for example by agriculture.
With this petal, it becomes visible that a project discharges fewer nutrients into the groundwater or into surface waters such as rivers and lakes. For example, a farmer does without pesticides, reduces fertilisation of the land or keeps fewer animals on an area than would actually be possible. Because when it comes to protecting water, the following applies: less is more!
Encountering the diversity, uniqueness and beauty of nature is something very special and very important for each of us. Therefore, according to Natureplus-Standard all AgoraNatura projects can be experienced. They can therefore be visited or followed online on AgoraNatura. If a white star appears in the middle of the flower, the project contains a special offer, for example a special on-site experience or special digital opportunities to experience the area.