In May, scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) are convening a symposium to mark 20 years of monitoring of terrestrial sites within the UK’s Environmental Change Network (ECN).
Registration for the symposium, which is being held in Lancaster from 12-13 May, is now open. More details of the programme and accommodation options can be found here.
ECN is the UK's long-term environmental monitoring and research programme, making regular measurements of air, soil, water and a range of animals and plants across a network of sites to determine how and why the natural environment is changing.
The anniversary symposium will consider two key questions:
- What environmental changes have we observed over the last two decades?
- How should ECN develop to meet future challenges?
Symposium organiser Dr Andrew Sier of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Terrestrial monitoring within the Environmental Change Network has been operational for 20 years, supporting scientific research and generating impressive time series of data on a range of driving and response variables. This symposium will mark this anniversary by considering the role of long-term environmental monitoring and research, by exploring the value of the datasets and of sites as research platforms, and by considering how the network should evolve to meet user needs over the next 20 years.”
The measurements made by ECN cover a wide range of physical, chemical and biological 'driving and response' variables. Consistency over time, a vital attribute of any long-term dataset, is achieved by adherence to a clearly defined set of published analytical protocols.
While there are numerous long-term, issue-specific environmental monitoring initiatives nationally, ECN's unique multi-disciplinary approach enables the analysis of important relationships between environmental variables and across ecosystem components. You can read detailed information about the measurements made and the protocols (methods) used here.
ECN is only possible through the combined efforts of many organisations and people. ECN is a multi-agency programme sponsored by a consortium of 14 UK government departments and agencies. These organisations (Sponsors) contribute to the programme through funding either site monitoring and/or network co-ordination activities. The network is coordinated by staff at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. They manage the data, which are stored in a central database and are available through a variety of data access methods. ECN is also supported by several Research Partners.