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Special Issue marking 20 years of detailed environmental monitoring by ECN

A Special Issue of the journal Ecological Indicators, showcasing a range of research using Environmental Change Network data and sites.

The UK Environmental Change Network (ECN) was established in 1992 in response to calls for more long-term, quantitative information about the state of the environment and how it was changing. The network’s terrestrial component comprises 12 sites ranging from lowland farms and woodlands to upland moors and mountains. Since 1994, ECN has also collated data from a network of lakes, rivers and streams.

To mark the 20th anniversary of detailed site-based monitoring, we undertook a series of activities, including a symposium in Lancaster in May 2014, the release of 20-year ECN datasets, available from the CEH Environmental Information Platform, a CEH blog, ‘Behind the scenes at the UK's Environmental Change Network’ and an article in NERC’s Planet Earth magazine: ‘Taking the environment’s pulse

We also invited symposium speakers, ECN site managers and scientists with a track record of research at ECN sites to showcase their ECN-related research in this Special Issue, edited by Andrew Sier and Don Monteith.

The 15 papers in the Special Issue are listed below. A summary of key points made in the special is also available.

  1. Sier, A. and Monteith, D. (2016). The UK Environmental Change Network after twenty years of integrated ecosystem assessment: Key findings and future perspectives. Ecological Indicators68, 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.02.008.
  2. Rennie, S. (2016). Providing information on environmental change: Data management, discovery and access in the UK Environmental Change Network Data Centre. Ecological Indicators68, 13-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.01.060.
  3. Monteith, D., et al. (2016). Trends and variability in weather and atmospheric deposition at UK Environmental Change Network sites (1993-2012). Ecological Indicators68, 21-35. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.01.061.
  4. Sawicka, K., et al. (2016). Fine-scale temporal characterization of trends in soil water dissolved organic carbon and potential drivers. Ecological Indicators68, 36-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.12.028.
    Read why this research matters
  5. Rose, R., et al. (2016). Evidence for increases in vegetation species richness across the UK Environmental Change Network sites linked to changes in air pollution and weather patterns. Ecological Indicators68, 52-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.01.005.
    Read why this research matters
  6. Morecroft, MD., et al. (2016). Interannual variability, stability and resilience in UK plant communities. Ecological Indicators68, 63-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.040.
  7. Pallett, DW., Pescott, OL. and Shafer, SM. (2016). Changes in plant species richness and productivity in response to decreased nitrogen inputs in grassland in southern England. Ecological Indicators68, 73-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.12.024.
  8. Eyre, MD., McMillan, SD. and Critchley, CNR. (2016). Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) as indicators of change and pattern in the agroecosystem: Longer surveys improve understanding. Ecological Indicators68, 82-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.009.
  9. Milligan, G., Rose, RJ. and Marrs, RH. (2016). Winners and losers in a long-term study of vegetation change at Moor House NNR: Effects of sheep-grazing and its removal on British upland vegetation. Ecological Indicators68, 89-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.10.053.
  10. Moody, CS., Worrall, F. and Burt, TP. (2016). Identifying DOC gains and losses during a 20-year record in the Trout Beck catchment, Moor House, UK. Ecological Indicators68, 102-114. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.033.
  11. Dick, J., et al. (2016). Analysis of temporal change in delivery of ecosystem services over 20 years at long term monitoring sites of the UK Environmental Change Network. Ecological Indicators68, 115-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.02.021.
  12. Martay, B., et al. (2016). An indicator highlights seasonal variation in the response of Lepidoptera communities to warming. Ecological Indicators68, 126-133. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.01.057.
  13. Pozsgai, G., et al. (2016). Interspecific networks in ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages.Ecological Indicators68, 134-141. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.031.
  14. Elliott, JA., et al. (2016). The past and future of phytoplankton in the UK's largest lake, Lough Neagh. Ecological Indicators68, 142-149. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.07.015.
  15. Baxendale, CL., et al. (2016). Can digital image classification be used as a standardised method for surveying peatland vegetation cover?. Ecological Indicators68, 150-156. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.035.