Our innovative project harnesses the power of DNA barcoding as a science education and analysis tool to assess the biodiversity in a restored quarry of HeidelbergCement. By using the DNA barcoding technology – a well-consolidated scientific method – we will boost the interest of young people in biodiversity-related STEM topics and make them aware of the importance of biodiversity management, especially in restored quarries.
More specifically, our project employs this technology to assess the biodiversity of plants growing on overburden dumps from historical mining sites as they surface in restored quarries of HeidelbergCement. The combination of DNA barcoding with the use of modern databases providing open-access to DNA sequence data allows us to increase our understanding of plant biodiversity in specific ecological niches of HeidelbergCement’s quarries. Our aim is to contribute knowledge to relevant biological questions related to quarry biodiversity and to produce tangible results which may be used for the company’s targeted conservation and restoration approach.
This project will foster the fascination for the uniqueness of quarry habitats and will raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation.