Handbook for Surveillance and Monitoring of European Habitats. First Edition

R.G.H. Bunce, G.B. Groom, R.H.G. Jongman, E. Padoa-Schippa, M.J. Metzger

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


The primary objective of this Handbook is to describe the methodology appropriate for coordinating information on habitats in order to obtain statistically robust estimates of their extent and associated changes in biodiversity. Such detailed rules are necessary if surveillance; i.e., recording information at a point in time; is to be repeated subsequently as monitoring, otherwise real changes cannot be separated reliably from background noise. The BioHab procedure will also map all Pan-European classifications, such as EUNIS, where possible, as a basis for their surveillance and monitoring throughout Europe. The basis of the General Habitat Categories is the classification of plant Life Forms produced by the Danish botanist Raunkiaer early in the 20th century. These Life Forms e.g. annuals or trees, transcend species. They are based on the scientific hypothesis that habitat structure is related to the environment. The BioHab General Habitat Categories cover the pan-European region (except Turkey) with 130 GHC¿s derived from 16 Life Forms (LF¿s). They have been field tested in all the environmental zones in Europe. Variation within a General Habitat Category is then expressed by environmental and global qualifiers, which are combinations of soil humidity, nutrient status, acidity and other habitat characteristics. Important additional information is given by adding codes from predefined lists of site and management qualifiers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
Number of pages107
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1566-7197


  • habitats
  • biodiversity
  • monitoring
  • methodology
  • classification
  • europe


Dive into the research topics of 'Handbook for Surveillance and Monitoring of European Habitats. First Edition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this