Monitoring network for plant species and habitats of Comunitary interest (RESECOM)



European Comission-LIFE+2012; Ref: LIFE+12 NAT/ES/000180
IP: Mª Begoña García González




The objective of this proposal is to accomplish the goals in art. 11 and 17 of the HD, which mandates members of the EU to periodically submit information on the conservation status of the plant species (EIC) and habitats (HIC) of communitary interest. The surveillance of all the EIC populations and HIC locations in a very diverse territory as Aragon is highly complex, due to the sheer number of items considered. In order to evaluate the conservation status and temporal evolution of EIC and HIC, we will develop a program based on: 1) flexible but robust fieldwork methods, following the Long Term Ecological monitoring approach; 2) the use of integrated teams with contrasting but complementary specialization levels; 3) an effective system to obtain and store field information; and 4) the coordinated transfer of information between Academic and Administrative Institutions.

For EIC, the objective will be to estimate population trends, using individual counts or other abundance measures, in permanent plots. Only HIC items that are not effectively surveyed by remote sensing will be included, and we will try to detect changes in the diversity of these communities as temporal variations in the abundance of species in permanent transects and in the populations of target plant species. Changes will be associated to in situ environmental changes (quantified via micro-climate, monitored with mini-loggers, and land use change, measured by comparing aerial pictures). Of highest importance in this project will be the establishment of a user-friendly system to obtain all the information, based on electronic data-collection devices.

The final objective of this proposal is to demonstrate that the coordination of a diverse set of monitoring teams (rangers, volunteers, scientists, free-lances, and technicians) can facilitate a rigorous monitoring network program able to continue on its own after the project. Our monitoring network package should be easily implemented in other regions.