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2 Cause/Effect Monitoring Requirements

The IM concept has been widely recognised as appropriate and timely means of monitoring ecosystem change, and efforts have been made in all participating countries to supply the relevant information. Because of the temporal and spatial variability in ecosystem dynamics a long term commitment to Integrated Monitoring is required by each participating country. A long-term commitment means that integrated monitoring is carried out nationally for more than 10 year, implying an appropriate financial commitment. Due to its integrated nature, ICP IM is a costly programme to start and carry out, and reasonable ways to limit the costs have been sought. Accordingly different levels of monitoring intensity at the sites have been identified and the focus of the monitoring may vary according to national priorities and available financial resources. However, a common minimum level of the programme is required in order to allow evaluation of data at the international scale regarding the priority topics. The mandatory and optional subprogrammes are listed in Chapter 6.

The different programme levels can be defined in a general framework of causes and effects (Table 2.1). The priority topics are the cause/effect monitoring of nitrogen, sulphur and ozone in ecosystems. The secondary topics are POPs, heavy metals and climate change. For each of the six environmental/abiotic change factors the relevant IM subprogrammes, as well as general and specific indicators, are identified. Nitrogen, sulphur and ozone are considered as priority subjects within the international policy context. The environmental impacts of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are receiving increasing attention under the work of the UNECE LRTAP Convention. Climate change is not a duty of the UNECE LRTAP Convention, but it is discussed here since ICP IM sites may be especially suited for detecting these kinds of effects. Internationally accepted methods for monitoring and assessing the ecosystem effects of all these problems, and in particular their impact on biodiversity, are therefore called for.

Table 2.1 General framework of causes/effects and proposed ICP IM subprogramme combinations

Biological effect

Environmental/ abiotic cause

Subprogramme

Specific indicator (+ subprogramme)

General indicator (+ subprogramme)

NITROGEN (acidification, eutrophication)

PC, TF, SF, RW/SW, SC, AM, LC (if lake) (AC, LF, GW)

- Sensitivity index (VG)
- Foliage chemistry (FC)
- Aerial algae (AL)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Species composition (VG, EP)
- Forest damage (FD)
- Aquatic species and biomass change (LB/RB)
- (Fish)
- Microbial decomposition (MB)

SULPHUR (acidification)

PC, TF, SF, RW/SW, SC, AM, LC (if lake) (AC, LF, GW)

- Sensitivity index (VG, EP)
- Foliage chemistry (FC)
- Diatoms (LB)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Species composition (VG, EP)
- Forest damage (FD)
- (Fish)
- Microbial decomposition (MB)

OZONE

AM, SW (incl. soil moisture availability) AC (or extrapolation from measurements/ models)

- Foliar damage (FD)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Species composition (VG, BI)
- Phenology (PH) for interpretation

POPs

PC, RW/SW, (GW), Bark chemistry, FC

-Bioaccumulation/ assay (lab) (TA)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Species composition (VG, BI)

Heavy metals

MC, FC, PC, RW/SW, (GW)

-Bioaccumulation/ assay (lab) (TA)
- Microbial decomposition (MB)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Species composition (VG, BI)

Climate change

AM (incl. UVB and photosynthetic active radiation) AC (incl. CO2)

- Biomass change (BI)
- Biodiversity (VG, EP, BB, BI)
- Microbial decomposition (MB)

Published 2013-06-10 at 9:13, updated 2013-06-13 at 14:35
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