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Appendix B: Measuring Change in Ecosystems: Research and Monitoring Strategies
Pages 97-126

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From page 97...
... Appendix B Measuring Change In Ecosystems: Research and Monitoring Strategies A Workshop Report
From page 99...
... A program that included these four aspects could a CC' at in solving regional issues through the use of reforms exerts; coordinate regional and local monitoring programs "d syntheses data collected from these programs; rank research activities necessary to provide tools for the national program; provide information for management and decision making, and, through annual report, inform the public about short- and long-term environmental changes, assessment needs, and management recommendations.
From page 101...
... Such a research program is vital for improving our lulowledge of the kinds of perturbations at the ecosystem and landscape levels that are likely to be significant rislo; to the stability or long-term viability of a vanes of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. A number of workshop participants indicated that subtle ecosystem perturbations may have long-term regional and even global consequences.
From page 102...
... To help provide direction for implementing this suggestion, several workshop participants developed a strategy for assessing and managing risks of large-scale ecological change so that decisions regarding choices among regulatory action, additional monitoring and retch, or no action could be made within a risk assessment framework analogous to that now used to make other regulatory decisions (uncle as decreasing the speed limit on highways or big use of certain chemicals as food additives)
From page 103...
... Instead, regulation Is based on measurement of nutrient loading and published water quality standards. The second step is establishment of a monitonug program to evaluate the integrity of ecosystems or landscapes through their critical attributes.
From page 104...
... 104 ENI~ONMENTAL RESEARCH & DE~ELOPAdENT iM an as e m e n t ~ t rated t and decisions t Predicted change in c r i t i c a I at t r i b u te ~ Stat ist ical and mechan isti c mod els l M eas u re d c h a n 9 e in indicators FIGURE 1 Ecosystem asse.ccment strategy 7 \ \ , \ \ / \ Other diagnostic / measurements / \ / Monitoring ~ .
From page 105...
... For each measurement variable, indicator variables, such as selected species, should be chosen regionally because of the 105 complexity and vanability of ecosystems throughout the country. Table 1 shows examples of critical attributes likely to be important in assessing ecosystem integrity.
From page 106...
... Measurement vanable: Potentially limiting nutrients, carbon Fox, biomass. Regional indicator Able: One or more controlling nutrients In regional ecosystems.
From page 107...
... - evelopmental Images (successional stages3 in species composition through time, mediated by biological-physical interrelationships, resuldng in a de&cd ecosystem structure and function Measurement ~able: Structural characteristics: species density, biomass, and richness; community composition; functions characteristics production/resp~ration, production/biomass, carbon or nitrogen flux. Regional indicator ~able: D'stnbution and abundance of plant and animal communities indicative of successional stages versus those tharactenstic of mature or stable ecosystems (e.g.
From page 108...
... In addition, this program could be desired to achieve several additional objectives: to most In solving regional issues by providing access to exerts; to coordinate regional and local monitoring programs and synthesize data collected from these programs; to rank research activities Recess to provide tools for the national program; to provide information for management and demon making, and, through Anne reports, to inform the public about short- and long-term environments changes, assessment needs, and management recommendations. After attempting to choose universal measurement variables, several workshop participants realized that the complexity and vanabili~ of ecosystems throughout the country are too great to do so.
From page 109...
... The critical attributes include the following ecosystem components or processes, together with an example of a measurement variable: elemental dynamics~arbon flub energy dynamics-hydrogeological processes; trophic d.yn~mics species Sepsis, biodiv ~ - spades Success; critical species~onitoring of keystone species; genetic diversity~biochemical markers; dispersal and migration dispersal rates; natural disturbance-disturbance events; and ecosystem development-commun~ty composition. Examples of regional indicator variables (such as selected species)
From page 110...
... 1989. Selected development needs for ~ ecological risk at the community and ecosystem level.
From page 111...
... Workshop Participants Ecosystem Risk Assessment and Monitoring Wamnton, ~a March 2 and 3, 1989 * Duncan T
From page 113...
... Vanous aspect; of the system may be studied to direct the researcher toward the probability of risk for the species of interest, but the complexity of the interactions within the System are often overlooked To extend the more common forms of ecological risk assessment tie., those dealing with critical or indicator species) to the ecosystem level, one must be as concerned with exposure to risk of all components and processes within the system as with a single component.
From page 114...
... In both cases' management of the water resource was for the benefit of large urban areas. The systems differed In mat the endpoint resources under consideration by the managers were essentiaDy all nonhuman use resources at Mono Basin, while many resources had potential human uses at Glen Canyon.
From page 115...
... As managers of the Mono Basin ecosystem, the Forest Service wanted to know the relative unhealthy of each critical resource at different lake levels. Each resource responds differently to changes In lake level.
From page 116...
... 116 ~ ~ to <~ :m ~ ~ ~ Or ~ _ Y UJ a: C, o CL x _ Cam am =O 0~*
From page 117...
... ˘ ~ _ = . ~ o ca ~o FIGURE 2 Ranges of lake levels affecting resources of the Mono Basm with three .c~linities for reference (:From National Research Council, 198;7)
From page 118...
... The Mono Basin study showed a nearly complete assessment while the Glen Canyon study showed an inability to make recommendations because the assessments were incomplete.
From page 119...
... Shoreline | habitat | Bird/wi Id I i fe d iversity | Lake Mead ~ | Aesthetics | ~ Rafting/camping | Fishing Recreation FIGURE 3 Conceptual scheme of Glen Canyon ecosystem components and their interactions under present operations of Glen Canyon Dam. (Prom National Research Council, 1987.
From page 120...
... Is the water quality of Mono ~ eke or the Colorado River of importance? Dissolved salts and temperature are characteristics of water quality.
From page 121...
... These fall into three categories: V Development of procedures to include the admm~tradve or management aspects of the problem, 23 The use of previous and ex~sdng mowtonug data and management questions to formulate comprehensive risk assessment and monitoring programs, and 33 Selection or development of technical tools necessary to assess changes at the community or ecosystem level that will answer questions implicit ~ ecosystem risk assessment and mon~tonug or ecosystems. Admimstrative/management The first set of considerations that needs to be addressed In collecting environmental data is, Hat vim be done with ecological data when it is generated?
From page 122...
... Especially at the regional level, there is usually data available Tom a multitude of exists mon~tonug programs that need to be collated and synthe~i7~d to understand the potential cumulative impacts on the ecosystems In question Some of the emst~g programs listed in Table 1 and elsewhere have areas of geographical overlap and would need to be addressed in some sort of overlay fashion. Technical The second component of ecological risk assessment, that Is determination of ecological vulnerability and response, has two areas of technical development that are emphasized here.
From page 123...
... * National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)
From page 124...
... The Saprobm based indices are dependent on the ranking of the relative sensitizer invertebrate tam to high organic loading or low dissolved oxygen leve~sewage impacts (Chan~er 1970, Chutter 1972, Hilsenhoff 1977~. These indices may We erroneous readings to commlmi~ change due to environmental stress when the relative sensitivity among the tam ~ the community is different than the Saprobian system.
From page 125...
... J Water Pollution Control Fed 60:486 493.


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