A method of establishing a transect for biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring across Europe

Stone, D.; Blomkvist, P.; Hendriksen, N. Bohse; Bonkowski, M.; Jørgensen, H. Bracht; Carvalho, F.; Dunbar, M.B.; Gardi, C.; Geisen, S.; Griffiths, R.; Hug, A.S.; Jensen, J.; Laudon, H.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Orgiazzi, A.; Plassart, P.; Römbke, J.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Sousa, J.P.; Steenbergen, E.; Suhadolc, M.; Winding, A.; Zupan, M.; Lemanceau, P.; Creamer, R.E.. 2016 A method of establishing a transect for biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring across Europe [in special issue: Soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions across Europe: a transect covering variations in bio-geographical zones, land use and soil properties] Applied Soil Ecology, 97. 3-11.

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The establishment of the range of soil biodiversity found within European soils is needed to guide EU policy development regarding the protection of soil. Such a base-line should be collated from a wide-ranging sampling campaign to ensure that soil biodiversity from the majority of soil types, land-use or management systems, and European climatic (bio-geographical zones) were included. This paper reports the design and testing of a method to achieve the large scale sampling associated with the establishment of such a baseline, carried out within the remit of the EcoFINDERS project, and outlines points to consider when such a task is undertaken. Applying a GIS spatial selection process, a sampling campaign was undertaken by 13 EcoFINDERS partners across 11 countries providing data on the range of indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem functions including; micro and meso fauna biodiversity, extracellular enzyme activity, PLFA and community level physiological profiling (MicroResp™ and Biolog™). Physical, chemical and bio-geographical parameters of the 81 sites sampled were used to determine whether the model predicted a wide enough range of sites to allow assessment of the biodiversity indicators tested. Discrimination between the major bio-geographical zones of Atlantic and Continental was possible for all land-use types. Boreal and Alpine zones only allowed discrimination in the most common land-use type for that area e.g. forestry and grassland sites, respectively, while the Mediterranean zone did not have enough sites sampled to draw conclusions across all land-use types. The method used allowed the inclusion of a range of land-uses in both the model prediction stage and the final sites sampled. The establishment of the range of soil biodiversity across Europe is possible, though a larger targeted campaign is recommended. The techniques applied within the EcoFINDERS sampling would be applicable to a larger campaign.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
ISSN: 0929-1393
Additional Keywords: monitoring, soil biodiversity, ecosystem function, range of soil biodiversity, Europe, soil, standard operating procedures
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 03 Feb 2016 14:14 +0 (UTC)

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