Conclusion

There is a broad range of ecosystem health indicators available. Depending on the questions to investigate, such indicator sets can be combined and used to supplement each other in order to carry out holistic ecosystem health assessments. Indicators applicable for all different kinds of research and management questions have not been developed so far. Another critical point is the availability of data for the quantification of respective indicators on suitable spatial and temporal scales. If ecosystem health indicators are linked to existing monitoring networks, appropriate data sets should be on-hand. Further data can be derived by modeling or appropriate surrogates have to be found. Especially, the linkage with social, economic, and land-use data can give valuable information with regard to the effects of human action on the state of ecosystems.

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