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Effective Ecological Monitoring - David B. Lindenmayer

Effective Ecological Monitoring

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Ecologists and managers of natural resources readily acknowledge the importance of long-term studies and monitoring for improved understanding and management of complex environmental systems. Long-term data are crucially important for providing baselines for evaluating environmental change. They are also fundamental for detecting and evaluating changes in ecosystem structure and function, and for evaluating response to disturbances such as climate change or pollution. Countless scientific articles, books, management plans and other documents have been written about the need to conduct long-term studies and monitoring. However, although there have undoubtedly been some highly successful long-term ecological studies and monitoring programs, there is a history of poorly planned and unfocused efforts that are either ineffective or fail completely.

In this book, the authors outline some of the key pitfalls and deficiencies in ecological monitoring programs and long-term studies. They then describe some the features of monitoring programs and long-term studies that are essential to make them viable, using case studies such as those of Rothamsted (UK) and the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (USA). Based upon their collective experience spanning 70 years in establishing long-term studies and natural resource monitoring programs, the authors propose a new approach, which they call Adaptive Monitoring, to resolve some of these problems underlying poorly planned and unfocused monitoring programs.

'What excuse can any ecologist have for not reading a book about long term ecological monitoring by Lidenmayer and Likens? This book should be read not only by all field ecologists but also policy makers who administer and fund monitoring programmes.' John Hopkins, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 'The book provides an essential tool for understanding, protecting and preserving the earth's ecosystems.' Ecosystem Marketplace 'Effective Ecological Monitoring offers a well-written analysis of issues facing ecological monitoring programs. Its call to action for improving monitoring programs clearly outlines key issues yet to be resolved and can clearly serve as the foundation for future exploration. It is sure to resonate not only with scientists but also with policymakers, academics and ecosystem service professionals who can use its suggestions to improve existing monitoring programs and implement new ones.' Ecosystem Marketplace 'Throughout the text is clear, succint and thoroughly referenced, with many exemplars in addition to the case studies. This book should be read not only by all field ecologists but also policy makers who administer and fund monitoring programmes.' British Ecological Society Bulletin 'This book may be small in size, but it is very big on ideas.' Choice

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Some of the ecological values and uses of long-term datasetsp. 3
Time until expressionp. 4
Use in simulation modellingp. 6
Tests of ecological theoryp. 8
Surprisesp. 8
Poor record of long-term ecological monitoringp. 8
Why we wrote this bookp. 11
Referencesp. 13
Why Monitoring Failsp. 17
Characteristics of ineffective monitoring programsp. 18
Passive, mindless and lacking questionsp. 18
Poor experimental designp. 19
Snowed by a blizzard of ecological detailsp. 20
Squabbles about what to monitor - 'It's not monitoring without the mayflies'p. 21
Assumption that 'one-size-fits-all'p. 26
Big machines that go 'bing'p. 27
Disengagementp. 28
Poor data managementp. 29
Breaches of data integrityp. 30
Other factors contributing to ineffective monitoring programsp. 32
Lack of funding - grant myopiap. 32
The loss of a championp. 33
Out of nowherep. 34
Excessive bureaucracyp. 34
Summaryp. 36
Referencesp. 37
What Makes Effective Long-Term Monitoring?p. 53
Characteristics of effective monitoring programsp. 53
Good questions and evolving questionsp. 54
The use of a conceptual modelp. 55
Selection of appropriate entities to measurep. 57
Good designp. 57
Well-developed partnershipsp. 59
Strong and dedicated leadershipp. 63
Ongoing fundingp. 67
Frequent use of datap. 68
Scientific productivityp. 69
Maintenance of data integrity and calibration of field techiquesp. 70
Little things matter a lot! Some 'tricks of the trade'p. 70
Field transportp. 70
Field staffp. 71
Access to field sitesp. 71
Time in the fieldp. 71
The Adaptive Monitoring frameworkp. 72
A hypothetical example of how the Adaptive Monitoring framework worksp. 73
Adaptive Monitoring is a general and not a prescriptive frameworkp. 74
Increased future role for Adaptive Monitoringp. 75
Summaryp. 77
Referencesp. 79
The Problematic, The Effective and The Ugly - Some Case Studiesp. 87
The Problematicp. 89
PPBio Australasiap. 89
The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Program (ABMP)p. 92
EMAPp. 99
The effectivep. 108
Rothamstedp. 108
Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchment Partnershipp. 111
The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Studyp. 116
The Central Highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australiap. 124
The uglyp. 137
Summaryp. 137
Referencesp. 138
The Upshot - Our General Conclusionsp. 147
Changes in culture needed to facilitate monitoringp. 148
The academic culture and rewards systemsp. 148
Structure of organisationsp. 151
Intellectual property issuesp. 152
Fundingp. 152
Societal culturep. 153
Good things that can come from non-question-based monitoringp. 154
The next big challenge - integrating different kinds of monitoringp. 155
Approaches to integrate data from question-driven monitoring and mandated monitoringp. 161
Referencesp. 163
Indexp. 166
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781849711456
ISBN-10: 1849711453
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 15th May 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 15.3  x 1.0
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1