BetterGardens: Soil quality, Biodiversity and Social Value of Urban Gardens

The research project BetterGardens aims to explore how gardeners cultivate their gardens and by which factors their decisions are influenced. Furthermore, we would like to find out which outcomes the chosen management concepts have on soil quality and biodiversity as well as on the quality of life of gardeners. The study will be conducted in four interrelated sub-projects (A-D) by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL.

Further information about the project BetterGardens

News

  • Take a look at the RSI report on our project (in Italian).

Most recent publications

Young, C., Hofmann, M., Frey, D., Moretti, M., Bauer, N. 2018. Psychological restoration in urban gardens: biodiversity, garden-related stress and garden type influence restoration outcomes. Landscape and Urban Planning (submitted).

Young, C., Frey, D., Moretti, M., Bauer, N. 2018. Research Note: Self-reported habitat heterogeneity predicts plant species richness in urban gardens. Landscape and Urban Planning (under revision).

Frey, D., Vega, K., Zellweger, F., Ghazoul, J., Hansen, D., Moretti, M. 2018. Predation risk shaped by habitat and landscape complexity in urban environments. Journal of Applied Ecology (in press).

Tresch, S., Moretti, M., Le Bayon, C.,  Mäder, P., Zanetta, A., Frey, D., Fliessbach, A. 2018. A gardener’s influence on urban soil quality. Frontiers in Environmental Science 6: 25.

For a complete list of publications so far, please click here.

Factors Influencing Gardeners' Behaviour

  • Social Norms
  • Attitudes and beliefs
  • Perceived behavioural control
  • Policy and regulations

FiBL

  • Matthias Stolze (Project coordinator)
  • Robert Home (Task leader)
  • Heidrun Moschitz (Researcher)
  • Ingrid Jahrl (PhD Student)

Outcomes for Gardeners

  • Restoration
  • Psychological well-being
  • Physical health
  • Social contact and cohesion
  • Place attachement
  • Fruit, vegetables, flowers etc.

WSL

  • Nicole Bauer (Task leader)
  • Christopher Young (Researcher)

Outcomes for Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Functional diversity
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Ecosystem services
  • Interactions with soil

WSL

  • Marco Moretti (Task leader)
  • David Frey (PhD Student)
  • Simon Tresch (PhD Student)

Outcomes for Soil Quality

  • Soil quality
  • Physical soil properties
  • Soil chemistry
  • Soil fertility
  • Litter decomposition
  • Relationship with biodiversity

FiBL

  • Paul Mäder (Task leader)
  • Andreas Fliessbach (Researcher)
  • Jens Wohlfahrt (Researcher)
  • Simon Tresch (PhD Student)