73 ecosystem services variables for 11 Environmental Change Network (ECN) sites throughout the UK mainland. The variables cover provisioning (food, fibre, fuel, genetic resources, biochemical and pharmaceuticals, ornamental), regulating (air quality regulation, climate regulation, water regulation, erosion, human diseases, biological control, pollination, natural hazard, other hazards) and cultural (cultural diversity) service types. The list of variables was agreed at an ECN site manager's workshop as representative of the high level categories defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The variables were calculated from data from three sources (i) data collected for the ECN to standard ECN protocols, (ii) data obtained by site managers from a variety of other sources for their site and (iii) expert knowledge of site managers. The data were from a single year (usually 2009) or were averages of annual measurements. Established in 1992, the ECN is the UK's long-term environmental monitoring and research programme and makes 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 ECN is a multi-agency programme sponsored by a consortium of UK government departments and agencies.
Publication date: 2011-04-01
A workshop was held in January 2010 where a common list of ecosystem service variables were agreed by the ECN site managers. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (http://www.unep.org/maweb/en/Framework.aspx) was used as a recognised source of definitions and as a framework to identify goods and services for which variables or proxies were required. The 11 selected sites were examined to ensure representativeness of the wider landscape in respect to climate (rainfall and temperature), land cover and land management (through vegetation analysis). The data for these sites have come from several sources. Data collected by the ECN are run through a series of quality assurance checks and a system of quality flags and codes ensures that the data are properly qualified. The other data sources have required the expertise of and knowledge of the sites by the site managers to ensure the representiveness and accuracy of the data.