FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity monitoring and indicators of UK biodiversity change. A review for the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project.
This report presents an overview of how biodiversity is monitored in the UK within certain limits: consideration of biodiversity is more or less limited to species and habitats. Noss (1990) recommended considering the monitoring of biodiversity within a framework of four major levels of organisation: regional landscape; community/ecosystem; populations/species; and genetic (including ecosystem services). Within that framework, this report concentrates on community/ecosystem and population/species. These are the levels of biodiversity organisation where direct observations of species and habitats - requiring skills for which the FSC (Field Studies Council) has a strong record in training and resource development - can make a real contribution. Notwithstanding this, the levels are not completely independent and so, for example, species diversity does, to some extent, reflect genetic diversity and habitat condition does, to some extent, reflect the ecosystem service provision. Given the huge gaps in representativeness and taxonomic coverage of headline biodiversity indicators in the UK and at country-level, there is currently potential for almost any operational biodiversity indicator to make a contribution if it meets the criteria for inclusion. The FSC and the Tomorrow's Biodiversity Project cannot directly influence the development of national and UK indicators, but it can target resources on the development of operational indicators that have potential to make a contribution.