Monitoring of the impact of the project actions

D1. Indicators of plant structure and diversity

An analysis will be conducted of the extensions occupied by the various habitat types and ecological infrastructures throughout the area encompassed in the project, to determine how these differ from one point to another (marginal areas and riverbank stands, reed beds, herbaceous formations on wetlands, areas of open water, etc.). Insofar as possible, natural and semi-natural vegetation structures will also be determined in these areas (dominant species, botanical diversity and plant density). Likewise, the evolution over the last three decades of these wetland systems, semi-natural in some cases, will be assessed to ascertain their real influence on birdlife populations, as a determinant biological indicator.

D2. Monitoring of the populations of aquatic warbler and associated species

Annual censuses of migratory populations of the aquatic warbler and other species will be taken in all the wetlands studied in this project.

It is difficult to quantify that the increase in this species’ numbers is due to the actions taken within this project, as populations vary depending on successful breeding in northern Europe or the conservation status of their winter quarters. Recreating suitable habitats for this warbler species will allow a greater number of birds to be caught, signalling increasing habitat space and the dispersion of the species to other migration paths rather than actual population growth.

D3. Geographical Information System - GIS

All of the indicators mentioned in ‘D’ actions, and all available territorial data, will be stored in a Geographic Information System that will include the specific location of each landscape feature, project actions, management events, public and private land uses, threats and impacts, habitats and species, and in general, any other territorial data relevant to project monitoring and decision making purposes.

D4. Indicators for the assessment of ecosystem services

An assessment will be conducted of how ecosystem services evolve according to the measures adopted by the project and to the principal indicators for these ecosystems’ status and pressure. The choice of ecosystem services indicators is based on the methodology given in Spain’s ‘Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’. A report will be issued at the conclusion of the project highlighting the evolution of the studied ecosystem services, to serve as feedback for the proposed National Strategy for the Conservation of the Aquatic Warbler.

D5. Indicators and assessment of socioeconomic impacts

An economic study of profitability and competitiveness will be undertaken for the various plant biomass management models and other measures implemented or applicable to the wetlands in this study, including public uses of these spaces. A sociological survey will be conducted on the level of acceptance of the Natura 2000 Network and the conservation measures it has implemented.

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