DINA – Diversity of Insects in Nature protected Areas

Gefleckte Smaragdlibelle im Flug, Naturschutzgebiet Gnitz, Usedom (©Carola Vahldiek/Adobe Stock)

The aim of DINA is to test a standardized monitoring of flying insects and to analyse factors that correlate with the drastic decline of insects in nature reserves. In three in-depth case studies, the ISOE team will bring different local groups of actors from agriculture, science, politics and nature conservation into a dialogue process with the aim to jointly develop feasible approaches to better protect biodiversity. 

Research approach

The integrative dialogue method to be developed must be able to deal constructively with tension-filled conflicts over land use and nature conservation. Because of the large number of different actors, cross-sectoral dynamics, diverse knowledge assessments and visions of the future, it is of great importance for the dialogue process that disciplinary and institutional boundaries are overcome. Based on a discourse field and conflict analysis, ISOE designs ‘Social Labs’ for this requirement which serve as an integrative instrument for a sustainable preparation of decisions in conflict-laden situations. To this end, ISOE draws on experience in transdisciplinary research. In particular, the tried and tested formats of stakeholder dialogues, integrative methods of knowledge generation, discourse field analyses and simulation games serve as a methodological kit for the Social Labs.

The Social Labs are conducted at three of the twenty-one monitoring sites investigated in DINA. Over a period of two years, a series of workshops and a continuous, transparent exchange of information will promote networking and understanding between different actors. 


The current widespread loss of biological diversity traceably also includes conservation areas that are not accessible for human use. This was demonstrated both by the so-called “Krefeld Study” from 2017 and by the latest report of the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES). The scientific search for causes is proving difficult though due to the high complexity of interactions within nature and a comprehensive change of practices in agriculture and forestry. The search for ways to better protect biodiversity often fails due to differing perceptions of nature and the subsequently conflicting objectives of agriculture and nature conservation. So what is needed is an integrative process to point out these conflicting goals and moderate joint solutions. 

Project partners

  • NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union)
  • Entomologischer Verein Krefeld e.V. (EVK)
  • International Center for Sustainable Development (IZNE) Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg / University of Applied Sciences
  • Universität Kassel, In­sti­tu­te for Bio­lo­gy
  • Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development 
  • Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences 
  • The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZFMK)


The project “DINA – Diversity of Insects in Nature Reserves” is funded by the “Research Initiative for the Preservation of Biodiversity” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Köthe, Sebastian/Nikita Bakanov/Carsten A. Brühl/Lisa Eichler/Thomas Fickel/Birgit Gemeinholzer/Thomas Hörren/Aleksandra Jurewicz/Alexandra Lux/Gotthard Meinel/Roland Mühlethaler/Livia Schäffler/Christoph Scherber/Florian D. Schneider/Martin Sorg/Stephanie J. Swenson/Wiltrud Terlau/Angela Turck/Gerlind U.C. Lehmann (2023): Recommendations for effective insect conservation in nature protected areas based on a transdisciplinary project in Germany. Environmental Sciences Europe 35 (102 (2023))

Köthe, Sebastian/Florian D. Schneider/Nikita Bakanov/Carsten A. Brühl/Lisa Eichler/Thomas Fickel/Birgit Gemeinholzer/Thomas Hörren/Alexandra Lux/Gotthard Meinel/Livia Schäffler/Christoph Scherber/Martin Sorg/Stephanie J. Swenson/Wiltrud Terlau/Angela Turck/Vera M.A. Zizka/Gerlind U.C. Lehmann/Roland Mühlethaler (2023): Improving insect conservation management through insect monitoring and stakeholder involvement. Biodiversity and Conservation 32, 691-713

Lehmann, Gerlind U.C./Nikita Bakanov/Martin Behnisch/Sarah J. Bourlat/Carsten A. Brühl/Lisa Eichler/Thomas Fickel/Matthias F. Geiger/Birgit Gemeinholzer/Thomas Hörren/Sebastian Köthe/Alexandra Lux/Gotthard Meinel/Roland Mühlethaler/Hanna Poglitsch/Livia Schäffler/Ulrich Schlechtriemen/Florian D. Schneider/Ralf Schulte/Martin Sorg/Maximilian Sprenger/Stephanie J. Swenson/Wiltrud Terlau/Angela Turck/Vera M.A. Zizka (2021): Diversity of Insects in Nature protected Areas (DINA): an interdisciplinary German research project. Biodiversity and Conservation 30 (8-9), 2605-2614

Lux, Alexandra/Thomas Fickel/Florian D. Schneider (2021): DINA - Diversität von Insekten in Naturschutz-Arealen. Umfangreiches Forschungsprojekt zum Insektenschwund. In: NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland (Hg.): Newsletter DINA (2/2021), Berlin

Fickel, Thomas/Robert Lütkemeier/Diana Hummel (2020): Biodiversitätskonflikte. Eine sozial-ökologische Perspektive. W & F Wissenschaft und Frieden 38 (4), 26-29

Fickel, Thomas/Alexandra Lux/Florian D. Schneider (2020): Insektenschutz in agrarischen Kulturlandschaften Deutschlands. Eine Diskursfeldanalyse. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 59. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung


2019/05 – 2023/04