Original Paper

Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 14, pp 3357-3382

First online:

Integrating ongoing biodiversity monitoring: potential benefits and methods

  • Pierre-Yves HenryAffiliated withDépartement Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR 5173 & UMR 7179, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Email author 
  • , Szabolcs LengyelAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology, University of Debrecen
  • , Piotr NowickiAffiliated withInstitute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University
  • , Romain JulliardAffiliated withDépartement Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR 7179, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
  • , Jean ClobertAffiliated withStation d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis
  • , Tatjana ČelikAffiliated withJovan Hadži Institute of Biology, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts
  • , Bernd GruberAffiliated withDepartment of Conservation Biology & Department of Computational Landscape Ecology, UFZ – Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research
  • , Dirk S. SchmellerAffiliated withStation d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à MoulisDepartment of Conservation Biology & Department of Computational Landscape Ecology, UFZ – Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research
  • , Valerija BabijAffiliated withJovan Hadži Institute of Biology, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts
    • , Klaus HenleAffiliated withDepartment of Conservation Biology, UFZ – Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research

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Abstract

Halting the loss of biodiversity comes along with the need to quantify biodiversity composition and dynamics at large spatial and temporal scales. Highly standardized, international monitoring networks would be ideal, but they do not exist yet. If we are to assess changes in biodiversity now, combining output available from ongoing monitoring initiatives is the only option. However, integration of biodiversity information across schemes is still very poorly developed. In this paper, we outline practical issues to be considered when planning to combine existing monitoring information. First, we provide an overview of avenues for integration along the four dimensions that characterize a monitoring design: sample size, biological coverage, spatial coverage and temporal coverage. We also emphasize that complementarity in monitoring targets across schemes enables to describe complex processes of biodiversity dynamics, e.g. through relating species traits to the impacts of environmental changes. Second, we review some methods to overcome differences in designs among monitoring schemes, such as site selection, post-stratification and measurement error. Finally, we point out some commonly used statistical methods that are at hand for combining data or parameter estimates. We especially emphasize the possible levels of data integration (raw data, parameter estimates, or effect size estimates), and the largely under-exploited potential of meta-analysis methods and weighted analyses. This contribution aims to bolster the practice and use of integration of ongoing monitoring initiatives for biodiversity assessment.

Keywords

Biodiversity indicator Biodiversity monitoring Biodiversity assessment Conservation Global change Meta-analysis Sampling design Temporal trend 2010 target