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10/2020: Compiling fotos for an experiment on the effects of visual forest biodiversity on mental health and well-being.

Fieldwork completed – we made it!

After a month full of uncertainties that forced us to repeatedly reschedule plans of when to sample which forest plots in Europe without being frivolous in times of ongoing global pandemics, Loïc and I finally completed fieldwork! While Loïc applied his multiple sensors measuring microclimate-associated parameters in the woods, I was having the grateful task of straying around beautiful forest plots in Hainich (Germany), TREEWEB (Belgium), and Bialowieza (Poland) for finding the perfect spots for taking my pictures!

Kevin and Tobias (responsible technician for Hainich) discussing about suitable plot sceneries.

Against the backdrop of investigating the effects of forest biodiversity on psychological health and well-being, I aimed at depicting specific tree species compositions, ranging from monocultures representing low forest biodiversity to plots where I captured up to five tree species in one photo for our high biodiversity condition. Pictures will be shown to participants in a controlled lab-experiment that enables us to specifically address the question of whether and how increasing tree diversity impacts our mental constitution through delivering a larger variety of visual signals.

Example of a very biodiverse forest plot.

As it has been shown that contact with green spaces in general, as well as forests promote our mental health and well-being both directly through spending time in nature/forests, as well as indirectly through presenting nature / forest-related photos or videos, we aim at shedding light on the specific role that forest biodiversity has within the frame of forest-related mental health interventions, such as forest bathing.

Kevin & Loïc walking through Bialowieza forest