Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS): a proposal for the long‐term coordinated survey and monitoring of native island forest biota

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Borges PAV, Cardoso P, Kreft H, Whittaker R, Fattorini S, Emerson BC, Gil A, Gillespie RG, Matthews TJ, Santos AMC, Steinbauer M, Thébaud C, Ah-Peng C, Amorim IR, Aranda SC, Arroz AM, Azevedo JMN, Boieiro M, Borda‐de‐Água L, Carvalho JC, Elias RB, Fernandez-Palacios JM, Florencio M, González‐Mancebo JM, Heaney LR, Hortal J, Kueffer C, Lequette B, Martín‐Esquivel JL, López H, Lamelas‐López L, Marcelino J, Nunes R, Oromí P, Patino J, Pérez AJ, Rego C, Ribeiro SP, Rigal F, Rodrigues P, Rominger AJ, Santos‐Reis M, Schaefer H, Sérgio C, Serrano ARM, Sim-Sim M, Stephenson PJ, Soares AO, Strasberg D, Vanderporten A, Vieira V, Gabriel R
Journal: Biodiversity and Conservation
Publication year: 2018
ISSN: 0960-3115
Language: English


Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently
disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refu-
gia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monitor-
ing schemes for those biota and ecosystems are urgently needed: (i) to provide quantitative
baselines for detecting changes within island ecosystems, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of
conservation and management actions, and (iii) to identify general ecological patterns and processes using multiple island systems as repeated ‘natural experiments’. In this contribu-
tion, we call for a Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS) for monitoring the remaining
native island forests, using bryophytes, vascular plants, selected groups of arthropods and
vertebrates as model taxa. As a basis for the GIMS, we also present new, optimized monitor-
ing protocols for bryophytes and arthropods that were developed based on former standard-
ized inventory protocols. Effective inventorying and monitoring of native island forests will
require: (i) permanent plots covering diverse ecological gradients (e.g. elevation, age of ter-
rain, anthropogenic disturbance); (ii) a multiple-taxa approach that is based on standardized
and replicable protocols; (iii) a common set of indicator taxa and community properties that
are indicative of native island forests’ welfare, building on, and harmonized with existing
sampling and monitoring efforts; (iv) capacity building and training of local researchers, col-
laboration and continuous dialogue with local stakeholders; and (v) long-term commitment
by funding agencies to maintain a global network of native island forest monitoring plots.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Steinbauer, Manuel Prof. Dr.
Professur für System-Paläobiologie

External institutions with authors

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ) / Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
Field Museum of Natural History
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Spanish National Research Council / Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Technische Universität München (TUM)
Universidad de La Laguna
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Université de La Réunion
Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
University of California, Berkeley
University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
University of L'Aquila / Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
University of Lisbon / Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa)
University of Oxford
University of the Azores
University of the Azores / Universidade dos Açores (UAç)

How to cite

Borges, P.A.V., Cardoso, P., Kreft, H., Whittaker, R., Fattorini, S., Emerson, B.C.,... Gabriel, R. (2018). Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS): a proposal for the long‐term coordinated survey and monitoring of native island forest biota. Biodiversity and Conservation.

Borges, Paulo A. V., et al. "Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS): a proposal for the long‐term coordinated survey and monitoring of native island forest biota." Biodiversity and Conservation (2018).


Last updated on 2019-03-01 at 13:10