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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

The GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks

  • Contributions from 100+ authors from all over the world, including both scientists and practitioners

  • Includes practical suggestions on how to develop biodiversity monitoring programs

  • Covers approaches from in-situ observations to remote sensing, to modelling biodiversity and reporting

  • Includes supplementary material:

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Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xii
  2. Working in Networks to Make Biodiversity Data More Available

    • Robert J. Scholes, Michael J. Gill, Mark J. Costello, Georgios Sarantakos, Michele Walters
    Pages 1-17Open Access
  3. Global Terrestrial Ecosystem Observations: Why, Where, What and How?

    • Rob H. G. Jongman, Andrew K. Skidmore, C. A. (Sander) Mücher, Robert G.H. Bunce, Marc J. Metzger
    Pages 19-38Open Access
  4. Ecosystem Services

    • Patricia Balvanera, Sandra Quijas, Daniel S. Karp, Neville Ash, Elena M. Bennett, Roel Boumans et al.
    Pages 39-78Open Access
  5. Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables at the Species Level

    • Henrique M. Pereira, Jayne Belnap, Monika Böhm, Neil Brummitt, Jaime Garcia-Moreno, Richard Gregory et al.
    Pages 79-105Open Access
  6. Monitoring Changes in Genetic Diversity

    • Michael W. Bruford, Neil Davies, Mohammad Ehsan Dulloo, Daniel P. Faith, Michele Walters
    Pages 107-128Open Access
  7. Methods for the Study of Marine Biodiversity

    • Mark J. Costello, Zeenatul Basher, Laura McLeod, Irawan Asaad, Simon Claus, Leen Vandepitte et al.
    Pages 129-163Open Access
  8. Observations of Inland Water Biodiversity: Progress, Needs and Priorities

    • Eren Turak, David Dudgeon, Ian J. Harrison, Jörg Freyhof, Aaike De Wever, Carmen Revenga et al.
    Pages 165-186Open Access
  9. Remote Sensing for Biodiversity

    • Gary N. Geller, Patrick N. Halpin, Brian Helmuth, Erin L. Hestir, Andrew Skidmore, Michael J. Abrams et al.
    Pages 187-210Open Access
  10. Involving Citizen Scientists in Biodiversity Observation

    • Mark Chandler, Linda See, Christina D. Buesching, Jenny A. Cousins, Chris Gillies, Roland W. Kays et al.
    Pages 211-237Open Access
  11. Biodiversity Modelling as Part of an Observation System

    • Simon Ferrier, Walter Jetz, Jörn Scharlemann
    Pages 239-257Open Access
  12. Global Infrastructures for Biodiversity Data and Services

    • Wim Hugo, Donald Hobern, Urmas Kõljalg, Éamonn Ó Tuama, Hannu Saarenmaa
    Pages 259-291Open Access
  13. Using Data for Decision-Making: From Observations to Indicators and Other Policy Tools

    • Matt Walpole, Melodie A. McGeoch, Philip Bubb, Neil Brummitt
    Pages 293-308Open Access
  14. Case Studies of Capacity Building for Biodiversity Monitoring

    • Dirk S. Schmeller, Christos Arvanitidis, Monika Böhm, Neil Brummitt, Eva Chatzinikolaou, Mark J. Costello et al.
    Pages 309-326Open Access

About this book

Biodiversity observation systems are almost everywhere inadequate to meet local, national and international (treaty) obligations. As a result of alarmingly rapid declines in biodiversity in the modern era, there is a strong, worldwide desire to upgrade our monitoring systems, but little clarity on what is actually needed and how it can be assembled from the elements which are already present. This book intends to provide practical guidance to broadly-defined biodiversity observation networks at all scales, but predominantly the national scale and higher. This is a practical how-to book with substantial policy relevance. It will mostly be used by technical specialists with a responsibility for biodiversity monitoring to establish and refine their systems. It is written at a technical level, but one that is not discipline-bound: it should be intelligible to anyone in the broad field with a tertiary education.


  • biodiversity observation systems
  • monitoring systems
  • biodiversity monitoring
  • GEO
  • remote sensing and modelling

Editors and Affiliations

  • Natural Resources and Environment, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Natural Resources and Environment, Pretoria, South Africa

    Michele Walters

  • Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Robert J. Scholes

About the editors

Michele Walters is a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa where she is currently the coordinator for the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Technical Support Unit for Africa. She trained as a conservation ecologist at the University of Stellenbosch and, after spending four years teaching zoology at Walter Sisulu University, she joined the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) where she was involved in a number of projects dealing with medicinal, invasive and succulent plants of southern Africa. Following this she was the Executive Officer for the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) and ran its project office from the CSIR’s Pretoria campus.

Robert (Bob) J. Scholes, is Distinguished Professor of Systems Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.  He is widely published in the areas of global change, biodiversity, ecosystem services and earth observation. He is or has been a member of several steering committees of international Global Change research  programmes, including the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Diversitas and the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society. He was a  member of the team that devised the first Group on Earth Observation Implementation Plan and served as the first chair of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network. He is a member of the South African Academy of Science, fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Science. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks

  • Editors: Michele Walters, Robert J. Scholes

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • License: CC BY-NC

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-27286-3Published: 07 December 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-80109-4Published: 28 June 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-27288-7Published: 25 November 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 326

  • Number of Illustrations: 7 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Applied Ecology, Biodiversity, Conservation Biology, Ecosystems, Community Psychology

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)