|Field Site Network (FSN) - Design|
The FSN consists of CORE sites and SATELLITE sites. The CORE sites are specially selected for ALARM to assess the effect of land-use on biodiversity. The SATELLITE sites are established sites from other research projects including GREENVEINS, BioPress and Alter-Net.
Each of the CORE sites consists of two focal study sites, each 4x4 km and within 50 km of each other. These two sites are chosen
to be as similar as possible in all aspects except land-use intensity: one is dominated by natural or semi-natural communities
(but including some agricultural land) and the other is dominated by intensive agricultural usage (but with a small fraction of natural
or semi-natural habitat remaining).
XDownload the GREENVEINS-protocols (PDF, 1.8 MByte) as an example.
FSN selection criteria:
The main criteria for selecting the focal regions in which pairs of focal sites are located were partly scientific,
partly pragmatic. Unfortunately, within ALARM we lack the resources to design FSN using a stratified random sampling approach, but particularly to use a large-scale FSN as a research tool. Therefore, we built on existing activities by ALARM partners, i.e. chose field sites close to partner institutes and preferably already in use by partners.
There are several key features that we took into account while selecting the regions and sites:
- These regions should contain:
- Extensive areas dominated by (semi-)natural vegetation, with some agriculture embedded. The "natural" site is located here.
- Extensive areas dominated by agriculture, with remnants of (semi-)natural vegetation. The "disturbed" site is located here.
- The sites should be as similar as possible in topography, geology, soil and other environmental parameters so that human disturbance is the main distinction between the pair of sites.
- The network of sites should be representative for Europe and should include the main European lowland habitats (see below) and climates.