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Making ecological monitoring successful: Insights and lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research Network

CollectionsANU Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN)
Title: Making ecological monitoring successful: Insights and lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research Network
Author(s): Burns, Emma
Tennant, Philip
Dickman, Chris
Green, Peter
Hanigan, Ivan
Hoffmann, Ary
Keith, David
Metcalfe, Dan
Nolan, Kathryn
Russell-Smith, Jeremy
Wardle, Glenda
Welsh, Alan
Williams, Richard
Yates, Cameron
Lindenmayer, David B
Keywords: Biodiversity conservation -- Australia
Environmental monitoring -- Australia
Environmental management -- Australia
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University
Citation: Burns E, Lindenmayer D, Tennant P, Dickman C, Green P, Hanigan I, Hoffmann A, Keith D, Metcalfe D, Nolan K, Russell-Smith J, Wardle G, Welsh A, Williams R, Yates C (2014). Making ecological monitoring successful: Insights and lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research Network, LTERN, Australia.
Ecological monitoring allows us to track changes in the environment and helps us see how our actions affect the environment. Long-term monitoring is particularly important, yielding valuable insights that are not possible from shorter-term investigations. We consider successful ecological monitoring to be monitoring that generates knowledge that is useful to others, and can be valuable in adaptive and effective environmental management. Any effective monitoring program requires a number of fundamental considerations, and additional factors should be considered in the design of a long-term monitoring program. This booklet describes what we consider to be the key characteristics of successful ecological monitoring, including long-term monitoring.All these characteristics work together. For example, good project design cannot meet its objectives without long-term funding; data management must be matched by good communication; and good partnerships must be maintained through succession and project planning. In discussing these characteristics and our recommendations for how they may be achieved, we present a series of stories and quotes. These insights are based on the collective experience of research leaders of the 12 plot networks within the Long Term Ecological Research Network, along with other professionals associated with the network. These stories highlight just how difficult it is to do long-term ecological research in Australia. They also illustrate the unique value of this kind of research for helping to understand and manage the Australian environment. We hope that this booklet will support the development of more effective and influential long-term ecological projects in Australia.
ISBN: 978-0-9925176-3-2


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