Options for monitoring landscapes, habitats and biodiversity within Mediterranean Type Ecosystems: lessons learned from the EBONE project

Authors and Affiliations: 

Philip Roche, Irstea, SEDYVIN, UR EMAX, Aix-en-Provence

Ilse Geijzendorffer, Irstea, SEDYVIN, UR EMAX, Aix-en-Provence


The EBONE project aimed to propose a scheme and protocols to monitor biodiversity over time in the whole of Europe. Therefore data have been collected in situ from a European sampling pool of 1km squares containing habitat data, environmental information and vegetation plots. The field test of the EBONE protocol has been done in twelve European countries and three more countries with Mediterranean Type Ecosystem and Desert environment (Israel, Australia and South-Africa). Although, the current EBONE dataset is not suitable to draw conclusions on individual indicators, countries or environmental strata, it shows that national or regional monitoring programs could use the approach and collect data using the protocols, tools and data warehouse to generate the biodiversity indicators for their area of interest.

Given the above stated limitations of the dataset, the demonstration test case yielded some very interesting food for thought. The EBONE protocol allowed computing a wide array of indicators from habitat level (patch size, patch density, habitat diversity, Annex I), pressure and management (nature and intensity of management) and life forms and species biodiversity. So far no monitoring scheme has been able to provide local and regional knowledge on landscape structure, management and the management timeline in addition to local indicators for the quality of the habitat itself (e.g. plant and life form recordings). These findings clearly show that the EBONE protocol can be useful for habitat monitoring and offers interesting added value on top of existing monitoring schemes. The approach based on life forms allows gathering data from different biomes and produce harmonised datasets and indicators.

In this presentation, I aim to present the EBONE protocol and the results obtained with a particular focus on the Mediterranean Type Ecosystems and to propose based on this experience options to link multiscale monitoring with environmental questions that should guide monitoring programs.