How to monitor species and population recovery as part of ecological restoration programmes?

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Sandrine Godefroid

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Monitoring plays an important role in the conservation and recovery process. Yet many monitoring programmes do not have a sound ecological basis, are poorly designed and do not lead to appropriate management interventions or responses and are disconnected from decision making. Monitoring is often given low priority because it can be difficult and expensive to implement, and monitoring programmes are often inadequately funded and implemented. Monitoring is an opportunity to measure the success of a project’s recovery actions and provides evidence for management decisions. The abiotic conditions necessary for a species can vary greatly during plant development, the adult niche being often wider than the recruitment niche, therefore the population might persist as adults under particular conditions but without any establishment of new recruits. This highlights the importance of performing an integrated analysis, combining the ecological, demographic, and genetic monitoring results. Demographic monitoring will assess changes in population size, dynamics and fitness. It may require frequent measurements or mapping to achieve the level of resolution necessary for an unbiased interpretation of the results. Sufficient contemporary gene flow between individuals, within and between populations, is often a key factor for the long-term persistence of populations. It is therefore a crucial element to consider in genetic monitoring. In this talk, we provide advice on developing a monitoring plan and the different components that should be considered. The various scales for monitoring and the different variables to be measured are outlined.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration