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Effective Ecological Monitoring

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Effective Ecological Monitoring

David B Lindenmayer   The Australian National University
Gene E Likens   Institute of Ecosystem Studies

184 pages, 230 x 155 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2010
ISBN: 9780643096837 - AU $ 49.95

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Long-term monitoring programs are fundamental to understanding the natural environment and effectively tackling major environmental problems. Yet they are often done very poorly and ineffectively. Effective Ecological Monitoring describes what makes successful and unsuccessful long-term monitoring programs.

Short and to the point, it illustrates key aspects with case studies and examples. It is based on the collective experience of running long-term research and monitoring programs of the two authors – experience which spans more than 70 years.

The book first outlines why long-term monitoring is important, then discusses why long-term monitoring programs often fail. The authors then highlight what makes good and effective monitoring. These good and bad aspects of long-term monitoring programs are further illustrated in the fourth chapter of the book. The final chapter sums up the future of long-term monitoring programs and how to make them better, more effective and better targeted.


  • Based on personal experiences in successful monitoring that few others worldwide have
  • Many new perspectives on long-term research and monitoring
  • An up to date summary and appraisal of the massive ecological literature on long-term research and monitoring programs
  • Blunt appraisal of the good and not so good aspects of long-term research and monitoring programs
  • How ‘Adaptive Monitoring’ is used to sustain long-term monitoring of natural systems

 Natural resource management community
Environmental policy professionals
Ecological and environmental science communities
University researchers and teachers
NGO and government staff

 "Lindenmayer and Likens have distilled decades of experience into a book about how to study the long, large, and slow processes of ecological change… This volume illuminates the practical as well as the deep intellectual challenges of long-term science."
David Schimel, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 86, pp.217-218

"The authors should be commended for tackling the subject of ecological monitoring head on… With 170 pages, the book is perhaps surprisingly short given the title, however I believe this works to the advantage of both the authors and the reader. The authors were able to concentrate on getting their message across in five well considered chapters; the reader clearly gets the message and is not distracted by overly long and complex examples. In a nutshell the book works well as a clear starting point for those looking to undertake well planned and effective ecological monitoring."
Andrew B. Gill, Biological Conservation, Vol. 144 (2011), pp.1776-1777

"Lindenmayer and Likens have produced a succinct and easy to follow reference that does what the title suggests: provides effective ecological monitoring techniques."
Australian Defence Organisation newsletter, May 2010


 David B Lindenmayer is a Research Professor at The Australian National University. He has worked on biodiversity conservation issues for over 25 years and maintains large-scale, long-term projects throughout south-eastern Australia. He is a member of the Australian Academy of Science and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research, the Whitley Award (three times), the Ecological Society Research Award, the DaimlerChrysler Award and the Australian Natural History Medal. He has published 25 books and over 550 scientific articles as part of his long-term research.

Gene E Likens is Founding Director and President Emeritus of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, and now Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. His research focuses on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest and aquatic ecosystems, primarily through long-term studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and is recipient of numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science, America’s highest science honour. He has published 19 books and more than 500 scientific articles.


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