Advertisement

Long-term environmental monitoring for assessment of change: measurement inconsistencies over time and potential solutions

  • Kari E. Ellingsen
  • Nigel G. Yoccoz
  • Torkild Tveraa
  • Judi E. Hewitt
  • Simon F. Thrush
Article

Abstract

The importance of long-term environmental monitoring and research for detecting and understanding changes in ecosystems and human impacts on natural systems is widely acknowledged. Over the last decades, a number of critical components for successful long-term monitoring have been identified. One basic component is quality assurance/quality control protocols to ensure consistency and comparability of data. In Norway, the authorities require environmental monitoring of the impacts of the offshore petroleum industry on the Norwegian continental shelf, and in 1996, a large-scale regional environmental monitoring program was established. As a case study, we used a sub-set of data from this monitoring to explore concepts regarding best practices for long-term environmental monitoring. Specifically, we examined data from physical and chemical sediment samples and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages from 11 stations from six sampling occasions during the period 1996–2011. Despite the established quality assessment and quality control protocols for this monitoring program, we identified several data challenges, such as missing values and outliers, discrepancies in variable and station names, changes in procedures without calibration, and different taxonomic resolution. Furthermore, we show that the use of different laboratories over time makes it difficult to draw conclusions with regard to some of the observed changes. We offer recommendations to facilitate comparison of data over time. We also present a new procedure to handle different taxonomic resolution, so valuable historical data is not discarded. These topics have a broader relevance and application than for our case study.

Keywords

Data comparability Long-term monitoring Macrobenthos Oil and gas industry Taxonomic resolution 

Notes

Acknowledgments

KEE was supported by the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (project no. 20-2013), the Norwegian Environment Agency (project no. 1204110 and 4013045), the Norwegian Research Council (project no. 212135), and Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). NGY and TT were supported by NINA. We thank one anonymous referee for useful comments on this article.

Supplementary material

10661_2017_6317_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 Online Resource 1. Table S1. Consulting companies responsible for fieldwork, identification of taxa, and laboratory analyses. (DOCX 16 kb)
10661_2017_6317_MOESM2_ESM.docx (213 kb)
ESM 2 Online Resource 2. Fig. S1. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) using faunal data based on the splitting procedure. Fig. S2. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) using faunal data based on the splitting procedure. (DOCX 213 kb)

References

  1. Arrouays, D., Marchant, B. P., Saby, N. P. A., Meersmans, J., Orton, T. G., Martin, M. P., Bellamy, P. H., Lark, R. M., & Kibblewhite, M. (2012). Generic issues on broad-scale soil monitoring schemes: a review. Pedosphere, 22, 456–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakke, T., Green, A. M. V., & Iversen, P. E. (2011). Offshore environmental monitoring in Norway—regulations, results and developments. In K. Lee & J. Neff (Eds.), Produced water (pp. 481–491). NY: Springer (Chapter 25).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakke, T., Klungsøyr, J., & Sanni, S. (2013). Environmental impacts of produced water and drilling waste discharges from the Norwegian offshore petroleum industry. Marine Environmental Research, 92, 154–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, J. R., Sisson, D. S., Smol, J. P., Cumming, B. F., Possingham, H. P., & Buckley, Y. M. (2014). Optimizing taxonomic resolution and sampling effort to design cost-effective ecological models for environmental assessment. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51, 1722–1732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buss, D. F., Carlisle, D. M., Chon, T.-S., Culp, J., Harding, J. S., Keizer-Vlek, H. E., et al. (2015). Stream biomonitoring using macroinvertebrates around the globe: a comparison of large-scale programs. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187, 4132.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-4132-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao, Y., & Hawkins, C. P. (2011). The comparability of bioassessments: a review of conceptual and methodological issues. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 30(3), 680–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cochrane, S., Palerud, R., Wasbotten, I. H., Larsen, L. H., & Mannvik, H. P. (2009). Offshore sediment survey of Region I, 2008. Akvaplan-niva report no. 4215-02. Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø. 314 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Desaules, A. (2012). Measurement instability and temporal bias in chemical soil monitoring: sources and control measures. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184, 487–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ellingsen, K. E. (2001). Biodiversity of a continental shelf soft-sediment macrobenthos community. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 218, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellingsen, K. E. (2002). Continental shelf soft-sediment benthic biodiversity in relation to environmental variability. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 232, 15–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellingsen, K. E., & Gray, J. S. (2002). Spatial patterns of benthic diversity: is there a latitudinal gradient along the Norwegian continental shelf? Journal of Animal Ecology, 71, 373–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fontaine, A., Devillers, R., Peres-Neto, P. R., & Johnson, L. E. (2015). Delineating marine ecological units: a novel approach for deciding which taxonomic group to use and which taxonomic resolution to choose. Diversity and Distributions, 21, 1167–1180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frid, C. L. J., Harwood, K. G., Hall, S. J., & Hall, J. A. (2000). Long-term changes in the benthic communities on North Sea fishing grounds. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57, 1303–1309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fölster, J., Johnson, R. K., Futter, M. N., & Wilander, A. (2014). The Swedish monitoring of surface waters: 50 years of adaptive monitoring. Ambio, 43, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gattuso, J.-P., Magnan, A., Billé, R., Cheung, W. W. L., Howes, E. L., Joos, F., et al. (2015). Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios. Science, 349.Google Scholar
  16. Gray, J. S., Clarke, K. R., Warwick, R. M., & Hobbs, G. (1990). Detection of initial effects of pollution on marine benthos: an example from the Ekofisk and Eldfisk oilfields, North Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 66, 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gray, J. S., Bakke, T., Beck, H. J., & Nilssen, I. (1999). Managing the environment effects of the Norwegian oil and gas industry: from conflict to consensus. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 38(7), 525–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hewitt, J. E., & Thrush, S. F. (2007). Effective long-term ecological monitoring using spatially and temporally nested sampling. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 133, 295–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hughes, B. (2014). Monitoring: garbage in yields garbage out. Fisheries, 39(6), 243–243.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03632415.2014.915813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hughes, R. M., & Peck, D. V. (2008). Acquiring data for large aquatic resource surveys: the art of compromise among science, logistics, and reality. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 27(4), 837–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Iversen, P. E., Green, A. M. V., Lind, M. J., Petersen, M. R. H., Bakke, T., Lichtenthaler, R., et al., (2011). Guidelines for offshore environmental monitoring: the petroleum sector on the Norwegian continental shelf. Climate and Pollution Agency. TA number 2849/2011. 49 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Iversen, P. E. Lind, M. J., Ersvik, M., Rønning, I., Skaare, B. B., Green, A. M. V., et al., (2015). Guidelines for environmental monitoring of petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Norwegian Environment. Agency M-number M-300/2015. 60 pp. (In Norwegian).Google Scholar
  23. Jensen, T., Gjøs, N., Nøland, S.-A., Oreld, F., Møskeland, T., Bakke, S. M., et al., (2000). Environmental monitoring 1999, Region I—Ekofisk. Technical report. Report no. 2000-3238. Det Norske Veritas & Sintef Applied Chemistry, Norway. 294 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Kaiser, M. J., Clarke, K. R., Hinz, H., Austen, M. C. V., Somerfield, P. J., & Karakassis, I. (2006). Global analysis of response and recovery of benthic biota to fishing. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 311, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lindenmayer, D. B., Burns, E. L., Tennant, P., Dickman, C. R., Green, P. T., Keith, D. A., et al. (2015). Contemplating the future: acting now on long-term monitoring to answer 2050’s questions. Austral Ecology, 40, 213–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lindenmayer, D. B., & Likens, G. E. (2010). Effective ecological monitoring. London: CSIRO Publishing 170 pp.Google Scholar
  27. Little, R. J. A., & Rubin, D. B. (1987). Statistical analysis with missing data. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  28. Loraine, A. E., Blakley, I. C., Jagadeesan, S., Harper, J., Miller, G., & Firon, N. (2015). Analysis and visualization of RNA-Seq expression data using RStudio, Bioconductor, and Integrated Genome Browser. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N. J.), 1284, 481–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mannvik, H. P., Pearson, T., Pettersen, A., & Lie Gabrielsen, K. (1997). Environmental monitoring survey Region I 1996. Main report. Akvaplan-niva report no. 411.96.996-1. Akvaplan-Niva, Tromsø. 246 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Mannvik, H. P., Wasbotten, I. H., Cochrane, S., & Moldes-Anaya, A. (2012). Miljøundersøkelse Region I, 2011. Akvaplan-niva report no. 5339.02. Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø. 196 pp. (In Norwegian).Google Scholar
  31. Mieszkowska, N., Sugden, H., Firth, L. B., & Hawkins, S. J. (2014). The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 372, 20130339.Google Scholar
  32. Nichols, J. D., & Williams, B. K. (2006). Monitoring for conservation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 21, 668–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Norwegian Oil and Gas (2013). Environmental report 2013. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association. http://www.norskoljeoggass.no/en/Publica/Environmentalreports/Environmental-report-2013/.
  34. Nøland, S. A., Gjøs, N., Bakke, S. M., & Oreld F. (2003). Environmental monitoring 2002, Region I—Ekofisk. Main report. Technical report. Report no. 2003-0338. Det Norske Veritas/Sintef, Norway. 316 pp.Google Scholar
  35. Nøland, S. A., Bakke, S. M., Rustad, I., & Brinchmann, K. M. (2006). Environmental monitoring Region I, 2005. Main report. Report no. 2006-0187. Det Norske Veritas, Norway. 344 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Olsgard, F., & Gray, J. S. (1995). A comprehensive analysis of the effects of offshore oil and gas exploration and production on the benthic communities of the Norwegian continental shelf. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 122, 277–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. R Core Team (2015). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. URL http://www.R-project.org/.
  38. Renaud, P. E., Jensen, T., Wassbotten, I., Mannvik, H. P., & Botnen, H., (2008). Offshore sediment monitoring on the Norwegian shelf. A regional approach 1996–2006. Akvaplan-niva report no 3487–003. Akvaplan-Niva, Tromsø. 95 pp.Google Scholar
  39. Ross, D. S., Bailey, S. W., Briggs, R. D., Curry, J., Fernandez, I. J., Fredriksen, G., et al. (2015). Inter-laboratory variation in the chemical analysis of acidic forest soil reference samples from eastern North America. Ecosphere, 6(5), 73.  https://doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00209.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Terlizzi, A., Anderson, M. J., Bevilacqua, S., Fraschetti, S., Wlodarska-Kowalcuk, M., & Ellingsen, K. E. (2009). Beta diversity and taxonomic sufficiency: do higher-level taxa reflect heterogeneity in species composition? Diversity and Distributions, 15, 450–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Thrush, S. F., & Dayton, P. K. (2002). Disturbance to marine benthic habitats by trawling and dredging: implications for marine biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 33, 449–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thrush, S. F., Ellingsen, K. E., & Davis, K. (2015). Implications of fisheries impacts to seafloor biodiversity and ecosystem-based management. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73(Supplement 1), i44–i50.  https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsv114.Google Scholar
  43. Yoccoz, N. G., Nichols, J. D., & Boulinier, T. (2001). Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 16, 446–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kari E. Ellingsen
    • 1
  • Nigel G. Yoccoz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Torkild Tveraa
    • 1
  • Judi E. Hewitt
    • 3
  • Simon F. Thrush
    • 4
  1. 1.Fram CentreNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)TromsøNorway
  2. 2.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  3. 3.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchHamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Institute of Marine SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations