Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme - ERAMMP Report-85 Development of Indicator 44: Status of Biological Diversity in Wales Final Report

Smart, S.M.; Barwell, L.; Burkmar, R.; Harvey, M.C.; Isaac, N.J.; Turvey, K.; Roy, D.B.. 2021 Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme - ERAMMP Report-85 Development of Indicator 44: Status of Biological Diversity in Wales Final Report. Bangor, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 57pp. (UKCEH Project no. C06297, C210/2016/2017)

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We report the development of a new indicator of the status of biological diversity for Wales: indicator 44 for the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015). The focus of this work is on combining data into a single indicator of change in the distribution of section 7 species over time. Sections 2 to 6 of this report and the proposed indicators focus on terrestrial and freshwater species only. There are numerous challenges in applying the methodology to marine species and these are summarised in section 7 of the report. A new Indicator 44 “Status of biological diversity in Wales” has been developed1. • A section 7 species indicator for Wales has been produced based on trends derived from updated National Recording Scheme and Society (NSS) datasets. This combines annual estimates of change in the proportion of occupied sites in 1x1km squares in Wales for 113 species. • In the long-term period (1970-2016), the index of distribution change for section 7 priority species in Wales had declined to 87% of its baseline value in 1970. This is considered a statistically significant decrease and the indicator is therefore assessed as decreasing. Over this long-term period, 16% of species showed a strong or weak increase and 34% showed a strong or weak decline. • Over the short-term period (2011-2016), the value of the indicator increased from 85 to 87 and was assessed as stable. Between 2011 and 2016, 35% of species showed a strong or weak increase and 19% showed a strong or weak decline. Comparison of the overlap between LERC and NSS data showed significant potential value in including LERC records in Indicator 44. • Ongoing work has sought to quantify the additional contribution to trend assessment and indicator development that could be made by the inclusion of Welsh Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC) datasets. In doing so, new tools have been developed to interrogate the LERC data and to identify extra records (combinations of date, species and 1km grid square) over and above those in existing national surveillance scheme datasets for Wales. • LERC data have the potential to add substantial value to the National Recording Scheme and Society datasets, and vice versa. However, questions remain about the degree to which these datasets are comparable, and how best to combine them. Challenges to integrating the datasets include: - inconsistencies in the species nomenclature used in different datasets - inconsistencies in the availability of records, especially for recent years. For example there can be a time lag in collating and processing NSS datasets (which are usually dependent on volunteer data managers) - potential differences in handling of date information with respect to date ranges - differences in approaches to, and documentation of, the verification status of the records; the LERC datasets are likely to include some records that have been rejected by NSS.

Item Type: Publication - Report (Project Report)
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Funders/Sponsors: Welsh Government
Additional Keywords: ERAMMP
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Date made live: 09 Nov 2023 13:51 +0 (UTC)

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