Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 14, pp 3357–3382 | Cite as

Integrating ongoing biodiversity monitoring: potential benefits and methods

  • Pierre-Yves HenryEmail author
  • Szabolcs Lengyel
  • Piotr Nowicki
  • Romain Julliard
  • Jean Clobert
  • Tatjana Čelik
  • Bernd Gruber
  • Dirk S. Schmeller
  • Valerija Babij
  • Klaus Henle
Original Paper


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.


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



This paper is a result from the EU-project EuMon (, funded by the EU-Commission (contract number 6463). We would like to thank other EuMon-colleagues for constructive and inspiring discussions (particularly Chris van Swaay, Erik Framstad, Andrej Seliškar and Eszter Déri), and Frédéric Archaux and one anonymous reviewer for very helpful suggestions of improvement of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre-Yves Henry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Szabolcs Lengyel
    • 2
  • Piotr Nowicki
    • 3
  • Romain Julliard
    • 4
  • Jean Clobert
    • 5
  • Tatjana Čelik
    • 6
  • Bernd Gruber
    • 7
  • Dirk S. Schmeller
    • 5
    • 7
  • Valerija Babij
    • 6
  • Klaus Henle
    • 8
  1. 1.Département Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR 5173 & UMR 7179Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of EcologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental SciencesJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  4. 4.Département Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR 7179Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  5. 5.Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à MoulisSaint GironsFrance
  6. 6.Jovan Hadži Institute of BiologyScientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and ArtsLjubljanaSlovenia
  7. 7.Department of Conservation Biology & Department of Computational Landscape EcologyUFZ – Helmholtz Center for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  8. 8.Department of Conservation BiologyUFZ – Helmholtz Center for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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