Ecological Monitoring


The module focuses on the legislative ecological monitoring requirements to assess progress in achieving objectives of a wide range of EU legislation and policy including biodiversity policy, the EU Water Framework Directive, Birds and Habitats Directives, Environmental Impact Assessments (with reference to agriculture). This module describes the use of bioindicators and bioindices in ecological monitoring across a range of taxonomic groups and environmental conditions. This module provides an introduction to ecological monitoring in a variety of agricultural ecosystems. Biodiversity assessment and ecological condition assessment using a range of metrics will be taught. Practical work will involve visits to a range of sites to sample, identify and apply a selection of monitoring methods.

Sustainable development topics referenced within the module include: No poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Wellbeing, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life On Land, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe a range of bioindicators and bioindices that can be used in the monitoring of air, water and terrestrial environmental quality

  2. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate ecological monitoring systems currently used for condition assessment for various legislative and policy targets

  3. Evaluate the ecological condition of ecosystems in agricultural landscapes using multi criteria assessments 

  4. Describe biodiversity and its assessment using a range of indices (e.g. similarity, diversity and rarity).

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