Working Group on Biodiversity Indicators

Aim: Selection of Biodiversity Indicators

A first selection of cost effective tools and indicators of marine biodiversity at pan-European scale has been prepared that can be included in existing monitoring programmes of the observatory sites of the network. The selection started with a desktop study to collate all known indicators, and built on the work of BIOMARE and MarBEF (a first selection of indicators already is available from Féral, Fourt, Perez, Warwick, Emblow, Heip, van Avesaath, Hummel, 2002. European Marine Biodiversity Indicators).

A group of partners assembled in the Working Group Biodiversity Indicators (WGBI) further complemented the overviews on tools and indicators.

For a final selection of best indicators a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis will be carried out from the scientific (target, scale effects, accuracy and statistical power), technical implementation (technical feasibility, cost-effectiveness) and management/policy (target, information required, and relevance for policies) point of view through a review and evaluation by the WGBI (desktop studies and workshops). Networking in combination with SWOT analyses will result in the choice of the most efficient indicators based on the best available knowledge.

For each indicator there will be a trade-off between the delivered information, accuracy and required standardization sampling method and effort, from the scientific and management/ policy point of view. Furthermore, it should be feasible to implement the method in existing monitoring programmes in different geographical regions. The challenge will be to find this trade-off for the selected indicators and to establish a suit of relevant and cost-effective indicators that can be used to monitor marine biodiversity in different regions and that will facilitate a nested analysis at different spatial scales.