Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 74

Report describing analytical protocols to examine how changing baselines affect restoration projects

Work Package 8 (WP8) is concerned with reference conditions and restoration strategies and how these may be modified or adapted as a consequence of climate change and its interactions with environmental pollution and other disturbances.

Task 4 of WP8 focuses directly on the issue of the effects of climate change on restoration targets in the face of changing baselines. The major anthropogenic drivers of aquatic ecosystem change are land−use change and hydrological manipulation, nutrient enrichment, acidification and toxic substances. Current restoration strategies are concerned with removing or reducing single stresses on systems. However, stresses often act in combination and the expected response from the removal of a single stress may be confounded by the behaviour of other stresses. At the landscape scale ecosystem restoration is made additionally difficult as a result of habitat fragmentation and simplification that have taken place over many decades. In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that greenhouse gas−forced climate change is beginning to shift the baseline against which restoration strategies are judged.

WP8 task 4 naturally follows on from work being undertaken in other work packages and has strong links with the Space−for−Time cross−cutting theme. As the major thrust of the work in this work package is only now beginning, it is inappropriate to describe analytical protocols for methods that are just being tested on existing data and are in a process of development and change. This report aims to outline the thinking behind the work that will be undertaken in WP8 task 4 over the next 3 and a half years and where available to describe the nature of the work now underway. The report is split into a number of sections representing the different areas within which work is progressing.

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