Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan
Culp, Joseph M.
Christoffersen, Kirsten S.
This document develops an Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan (The Freshwater Plan) that details the rationale and framework for improvements related to the monitoring of freshwaters of the circumpolar Arctic, including ponds, lakes, their tributaries and associated wetlands, as well as rivers, their tributaries and associated wetlands. The monitoring framework aims to facilitate circumpolar assessments by providing Arctic countries with a structure and a set of guidelines for initiating and developing monitoring activities that employ common approaches and indicators. The Freshwater Plan is part of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) that is working with partners to harmonize and enhance long-term Arctic biodiversity monitoring efforts in order to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to significant trends and pressures. The primary objectives of this Freshwater Plan are to: ► Develop the critical questions to be addressed for the assessment of Arctic freshwater biodiversity; ► Identify an essential set of Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) and indicators for freshwater ecosystems that are suited for monitoring and assessment on a circumpolar level; ► Identify abiotic parameters that are relevant to freshwater biodiversity and need ongoing monitoring; ► Articulate detailed impact hypotheses that describe the potential effects of stressors on FEC indicators; ► Determine a core set of standardized protocols and optimal sampling strategies for monitoring Arctic freshwaters that draws on existing protocols and activities; ► Create a strategy for the organization and assessment of existing research and information (scientific, community-based, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)) to evaluate current status and trends; ► Develop a process for undertaking periodic assessments of Arctic freshwaters including details of reporting elements and schedules; and ► Identify the financial support and institutional arrangements required to undertake such a program.