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COORDINATION: José Paulo Sousa (IAV, Universidade de Coimbra).

TEAM CEABN: Ana Luísa Soares (Coordination), Carla Santos, Marco Matos, Ricardo Silva e Susana Dias.

OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Instituto do Ambiente e Vida (Universidade de Coimbra), Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (Universidade Nova de Lisboa e Centro de Biologia Ambiental (Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa).

This project was approved in the scope of EU Forest Focus Program whose objective is the long-term, harmonised, broad-based and comprehensive monitoring of European forest ecosystems. 

Our study aimed at giving a further contribution to the existing Portuguese biodiversity monitoring program, by developing a pilot project with the main objective of validating a monitoring tool for biodiversity in forests.

The specific objectives of this project were: 

1. To assess differences in biodiversity and density, as well as in community composition for the chosen indicator groups (soil macrofauna, butterflies and birds) in selected plots representing a wide range of different situations in Portuguese forests according to tree species, management practices, landscape structure and the impact of anthropogenic perturbations;

2. To assess the major drivers (natural or human-driven) responsible for the observed differences;

3. To identify indicator taxa characterizing groups of sites with different soil/habitat quality;

4. To propose an operational monitoring tool using key animal indicator groups to assess changes in biodiversity and habitat quality in Portuguese forests over a spatial and temporal scale;

5. To calibrate and validate this tool across the selected sites enhancing its value as management and decision-making tool for stakeholders and decision-makers;

6. To elaborate a manual containing standard technical procedures to be used in a continuous monitoring system of biodiversity in forests.