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Integrated Monitoring

International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems

Chairs: Ulf Grandin and Salar Valinia
Head of Programme Centre: Mr. Martin Forsius

Investigations of air pollutants acting on particular receptors have shown that an integrated approach is needed to understand the mechanisms of damage and the resulting effects. Thus, the impacts of acidic deposition may take place in the soil, but effects are more likely to be seen in vegetation growing in the soil or in the water draining from the system. Further, while biological impacts are of prime concern, it is the chemical processes and the physical parameters in the various parts of the ecosystem that determine its suitability for biota.

The objective of the International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems (ICP Integrated Monitoring) is to monitor the state of ecosystems (catchments/plots), their changes and effects of air pollutants and climate change from a long-term perspective, and to develop and validate models for the simulation of ecosystem responses. 

Integrated monitoring of ecosystems involves simultaneous physical, chemical and biological measurements over time of different ecosystem compartments at the same location. In practice, monitoring is divided into a number of compartmental sub-programmes linked by the use of the same parameters (cross-media flux approach) and/or stations (cause-effect approach).

The data collected is used to calibrate and test models that can then be used to estimate responses to actual or predicted ecosystem changes under a variety of biogeophysical conditions and pollution scenarios.

The programme is planned and coordinated by a Task Force under the leadership of Sweden, while the Programme Centre at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) in Helsinki is entrusted with collecting, storing, processing and analysing data from countries taking part in the programme. The network currently covers some 50 sites in about 17 countries.

Further information, including the Programme Manual, is available from the Programme Centre.