ICP Integrated Monitoring
International Cooperative Programme on
Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on
Mr. L. Lundin
of Programme Centre: Mr. M. 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 ICP Integrated
Monitoring is to determine and predict of the state
of ecosystems (or catchments) and their changes
from a long-term perspective with respect to the
regional variation and impact of air pollutants,
especially nitrogen, sulphur, ozone, and metals
and including effects on biota.
The programme Task Force is led
by 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 19 countries.
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).
Thus the Programme seeks to:
(a) monitor the state of ecosystems
(catchments/plots) and provide an explanation of
changes in terms of causative environmental factors,
in order to provide a scientific basis for emission
(b) develop and validate models
for the simulation of ecosystem responses and use
(i) to estimate responses to actual
or predicted changes in pollution stress, and
(ii) in concert with survey data
to make regional assessments; and
(c) carry out biomonitoring to detect
natural changes, in particular to assess effects
of air pollutants and climate change.
The objectives of the ICP Integrated
Monitoring are firmly focused on long-term effects
and on long-term monitoring. In the short term,
however, mathematical models are being developed
which can simulate ecosystem response to specific
pollutant stress. The data collected in the programme
are used to calibrate and test models that can then
be used to predict ecosystem changes under a variety
of biogeophysical conditions and pollution scenarios.
Further information, including the
Programme Manual, is available from the Programme Centre.