The BIOTA Biodiversity Observatories in Africa-a standardized framework for large-scale environmental monitoring
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology of Plants, Biocentre Klein Flottbek and Botanical Garden, University of Hamburg, Ohnhorststr. 18, Hamburg 22609, Germany; Department of Botany, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Rostock, Wismarsche Str. 8, Rostock 18051, Germany; Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Allende-Platz 2, Hamburg 20146, Germany; Department of Ecology and Geobotany, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, J. W. Goethe-University, Siesmayerstr. 70, Frankfurt am Main 60323, Germany; Laboratoire de Production et Amélioration Végétales, U.F.R. Sciences de la Nature, Université d'Abobo-Adjamé, BP 150, Daloa 02, Cote d'Ivoire; Department of Research Management and Funding, University of Hamburg, Moorweidenstr. 18, Hamburg 20148, Germany; Applied Biodiversity Research Division, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Kirstenbosch, Rhodes Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town 7700, South Africa; Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa; Research Institute Senckenberg, J.W. Goethe-University, Senckenberganlage 25, Frankfurt am Main 60325, Germany; Laboratoire d'Ecologie Appliquée, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d'Abomey-Calavi, 01 B. P. 526, Cotonou, Benin; National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), P/Bag 13184, Windhoek, Namibia; Laboratoire de Biologie et d'Écologie Végétales, Unité de Formation et Recherche en Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre, Université de Ouagadougou, BP 7021, Ouagadougou 03 03, Burkina Faso
The international, interdisciplinary biodiversity research project BIOTA AFRICA initiated a standardized biodiversity monitoring network along climatic gradients across the African continent. Due to an identified lack of adequate monitoring designs, BIOTA AFRICA developed and implemented the standardized BIOTA Biodiversity Observatories, that meet the following criteria (a) enable long-term monitoring of biodiversity, potential driving factors, and relevant indicators with adequate spatial and temporal resolution, (b) facilitate comparability of data generated within different ecosystems, (c) allow integration of many disciplines, (d) allow spatial up-scaling, and (e) be applicable within a network approach. A BIOTA Observatory encompasses an area of 1 km 2 and is subdivided into 100 1-ha plots. For meeting the needs of sampling of different organism groups, the hectare plot is again subdivided into standardized subplots, whose sizes follow a geometric series. To allow for different sampling intensities but at the same time to characterize the whole square kilometer, the number of hectare plots to be sampled depends on the requirements of the respective discipline. A hierarchical ranking of the hectare plots ensures that all disciplines monitor as many hectare plots jointly as possible. The BIOTA Observatory design assures repeated, multidisciplinary standardized inventories of biodiversity and its environmental drivers, including options for spatial up- and downscaling and different sampling intensities. BIOTA Observatories have been installed along climatic and landscape gradients in Morocco, West Africa, and southern Africa. In regions with varying land use, several BIOTA Observatories are situated close to each other to analyze management effects. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Diversity; Global change; Permanent plot; Sampling scheme; Transect; Buildings; Forestry; Observatories; Vegetation; Biodiversity; biodiversity; environmental management; environmental monitoring; global change; implementation process; landscape planning; observational method; sampling; spatiotemporal analysis; vegetation; Africa; article; biodiversity; climate; controlled study; ecosystem; environmental management; environmental monitoring; land use; Morocco; organism social group; research; sampling; South Africa; standard; Africa; Animals; Biodiversity; Biota; Conservation of Natural Resources; Environmental Monitoring; Plants; Morocco; Southern Africa; West Africa