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SCALETOOL IntroductionDriversBiodiversityPolicies and managementConnectivity and protected areas
Drivers of change and their indicators Scaling of fragmentation Microclimate
 

Drivers of change and their indicators


There is a large number of concepts and terms that have been used to define drivers of change. Here we have followed the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA 2005) approach that defines drivers as "any natural or human induced factor that directly or indirectly causes a change in an ecosystem" and which subsequently divides drivers into two categories:
  • 'direct drivers', which have a direct impact on ecosystems (e.g. land-use change), and
  • 'indirect drivers' whose impacts are more diffuse (e.g. human population density, GDP)

Mapping of drivers at multiple administrative levels

A list of the most important drivers that affect biodiversity was compiled and relevant indicators for each driver were identified. Since the purpose of this mapping exercise was to explore scale sensitivity of drivers, the final list of drivers (indicators) to be mapped included only drivers for which data was available at multiple administrative levels (at all four levels of the European NUTS nomenclature). The values of the indicators that have been used to generate the multiple maps were standardised by area (extent of each NUTS). A series of maps illustrating the intensity of each driver (indicator) at NUTS0, NUTS1, NUTS2 and NUTS3 are can be found by selecting the appropriate indicator at the search tool at the top right of this site.
Select indicator 

Quantification of scale sensitivity of drivers of change

In order to quantify the scale sensitivity of indicators the following two key variables were used across administrative levels: "change in intensity" and "evenness". Change in intensity (I) was assessed by measuring the relative change in the median of an indicator at a given administrative level compared to NUTS level 0. Intensity is equal to zero at NUTS level 0 and can either be positive or negative for other levels. Evenness was measured using Shannon's Evenness Index (E) which is derived from Shannon's diversity index. The values of the above two variables for each driver (indicator) across all different administrative levels were then plotted on a two-axes graph, which provides a visual summary of the relative scale sensitivity of each driver of change.

Typology of scale sensitivity of drivers of change

A typology of scale sensitivity of drivers of change was developed by classifying the respective indicators into five categories according to the way their intensity and evenness change across the four administrative levels. The analysis was performed with the R software using the Ward's agglomerative clustering method.

Classification of drivers (indicators) according to their scale sensitivity

Class Scale sensitivity Evenness
1 Very low Almost no change
2 Low Slight increase
3 Moderate Moderate increase
4 High Moderate increase
5 Very High Large increase


References

Tzanopoulos, J., Mouttet, R., Letourneau, A., Vogiatzakis, I.N., Potts, S.G., Henle, K., Mathevet, R., Marty, P. (2013) Scale sensitivity of drivers of environmental change across Europe. Global Environmental Change 23: 167-178.

Tzanopoulos, J., Mouttet, R., Letourneau, A., Vogiatzakis, I.N., Potts, S.G., Henle, K., Mathevet, R., Marty, P. (2014) Scaling of drivers of change across administrative levels, pp. 31-36. In: Henle, K., Potts, S.G., Kunin, W.E., Matsinos, Y.G., Similä, J., Pantis, J.D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., Settele, S. (eds.): Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia.
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