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Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time

June 16, 2010

Monitoring programmes are being used increasingly to assess spatial and temporal trends of biological diversity, with an emphasis on evaluating the efficiency of management policies. Recent reviews of the existing programmes, with a focus on their design in particular, have highlighted the main weaknesses: the lack of well-articulated objectives and the neglect of different sources of error in the estimation of biological diversity. We review recent developments in methods and designs that aim to integrate sources of error to provide unbiased estimates of change in biological diversity and to suggest the potential causes.