Towards a Regional Index of Biological Integrity: the Example of Forested Riparian Ecosystems

Towards a Regional Index of Biological Integrity: the Example of Forested Riparian Ecosystems Our premise is that measures of ecological indicators and habitat conditions will vary between reference standard sites and reference sites that are impacted, and that these measures can be applied consistently across a regional gradient in the form of a Regional Index of Biological Integrity (RIBI). Six principles are proposed to guide development of any RIBI: 1) biological communities with high integrity are the desired endpoints; 2) indicators can have a biological, physical, or chemical basis; 3) indicators should be tied to specific stressors that can be realistically managed; 4) linkages across geographic scales and ecosystems should be provided; 5) reference standards should be used to define target conditions; and 6) assessment protocols should be efficiently and rapidly applied. To illustrate how a RIBI might be developed, we show how four integrative bioindicators can be combined to develop a RIBI for forest riparian ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic states: 1) macroinvertebrate communities, 2) amphibian communities, 3) avian communities, and 4) avain productivity, primarily for the Louisiana waterthrush (Seirius motacilla). By providing a reliable expression of environmental stress or change, a RIBI can help managers reach scientifically defensible decisions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Springer Journals

Towards a Regional Index of Biological Integrity: the Example of Forested Riparian Ecosystems

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Environment; Monitoring/Environmental Analysis; Environmental Management; Ecotoxicology; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Ecology
ISSN
0167-6369
eISSN
1573-2959
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1005962613904
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Our premise is that measures of ecological indicators and habitat conditions will vary between reference standard sites and reference sites that are impacted, and that these measures can be applied consistently across a regional gradient in the form of a Regional Index of Biological Integrity (RIBI). Six principles are proposed to guide development of any RIBI: 1) biological communities with high integrity are the desired endpoints; 2) indicators can have a biological, physical, or chemical basis; 3) indicators should be tied to specific stressors that can be realistically managed; 4) linkages across geographic scales and ecosystems should be provided; 5) reference standards should be used to define target conditions; and 6) assessment protocols should be efficiently and rapidly applied. To illustrate how a RIBI might be developed, we show how four integrative bioindicators can be combined to develop a RIBI for forest riparian ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic states: 1) macroinvertebrate communities, 2) amphibian communities, 3) avian communities, and 4) avain productivity, primarily for the Louisiana waterthrush (Seirius motacilla). By providing a reliable expression of environmental stress or change, a RIBI can help managers reach scientifically defensible decisions.

Journal

Environmental Monitoring and AssessmentSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 15, 2004

References

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