Skip to main content


Title: Monitoring Protocols and Measures of Habitat Quality for Habitat Migration and Managed Realignment
Author: N. Frost
Author: S. Hull
Author: N.. Pontee
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1253, Representation ID: 415, Object ID: 2464
Physical pressures such as land claim, shoreline reinforcement and dredging continue to have extensive impacts on the extent of intertidal and other habitats around the UK coastline. This review and collation of current knowledge, leads to a conceptual model for the specification of habitat monitoring programmes, It provides structured guidance that will aid professionals in the design of appropriate habitat monitoring strategies that chart the progress of created habitats towards their specified objectives, and allow adaptive management where necessary. The review demonstrates that whilst habitat quality may be measured in terms of ecological parameters, the failure to achieve target values for these parameters may be attributed to the creation of inappropriate physical conditions. This emphasises the need, in many cases, to monitor a range of both physical and ecological parameters, to fully understand the development of habitat creation schemes. In terms of physical factors, elevation relative to tidal range is seen to be a prime determinant in the creation of given habitats. Relevant ecological indicators of successful habitat establishment should include vegetation coverage, the status of macrobenthic populations and the bird and fish usage of the site. The review also illustrates that there are a range of techniques available for measuring all of the parameters that have been identified as of interest at habitat creation schemes. The strengths and weaknesses of the various techniques have been evaluated with a trade off usually existing between the speed and simplicity of measurement versus the cost in terms of equipment and time. There are a number of further considerations that need to be taken into account when developing a monitoring programme. These include the duration and timing of the monitoring period, a continual reassessment of monitoring efforts, the expertise of the personnel involved, quality assurance procedures and the appropriate selection of sample size and statistical analysis. All of these factors can contribute to the overall success of the monitoring programme. A decision tree, covering all of these issues, has been designed to guide the user through the types of questions that need to be addressed in designing a successful monitoring programme.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: HabitatsMonitoringClassification systemsBrackishwater environmentCoastal waters
Extent: 99
Total file downloads: 262

Download PDF    Display PDF in separate tab