Central to the STACCATO activities is the field sampling, which began in spring 2017 with all partners being very ambitious and ready to start. Now, field work is nearly finished and the data acquisition was very successful in most countries. In Bulgaria, autumn 2016 and spring 2017 were exceptionally dry, which hampered the successful establishment of oilseed rape plants - the core crop in the project. Therefore, STACCATO scientists wanted to switch to sunflower fields in Bulgaria instead. However, as the Bulgarian governmental funding was not available for 2017, there was actually no field work which could have been started. In consequence, the start of data acquisition from Bulgarian field sites was now postponed to spring 2018.
Nevertheless, it was possible to gain good and comparable data for many groups of organisms in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Romania. Now, samples get distributed to the respective experts within the project and identification and sorting can start.
Let's hope that we find sound ways to achieve a high degree of comparability of the data gained so far with those still to be gathered in 2018.