The first year of fieldwork is almost over. Overall, the planned work has been completed, with some exceptions. The incorporation of the collected data in the geodatabase (a complete list of vascular plant species per patch per window + relative abundance data of species for each sampling point per patch per window, for all patches of all windows) is in progress.
The selection of Very Important Patches (VIPs) has been done for almost all windows.
The data collection started in 2012 for N France, Germany, Belgium. The field campaign will take place in 2013 for the other countries.
All the field work regarding stand description and tick collection is done by Steffen Ehrmann (PhD student).
The part dedicated to the mushrooms focuses on functional groups (saprotrophic, parasitic and symbiotic species), edibles and poisonous species. It aims at comparing patches using a same protocol. However, this represents a huge amount (ideally 4 visits per year during 2 years) so it has been decided to re-evaluate this task and propose a revised.
A task force on arthropod trapping will emerge, which groups partners from Toulouse, and Ludmilla Martin (PhD (Amiens): Carabids as bioindicators of forest continuity (in both space and time)) and Pallieter De Smedt (PhD (Ghent): Spiders as biodiversity indicators; effect on litter decomposition (via collembola predation); indicators of habitat fragmentation (spiders vs. less mobile arthropods)). It will meet and elaborate a revised protocol by the end of 2012..
Soil sampling have started in Summer 2012 and is almost completed: 1737 soil samples and 1737 forest floor samples will have to be analyzed. Sample preparation is planned for Spring 2013 and chemical analyses should start in September 2013.
The way of proceeding has been defined: identifying benefits from forest. 8 months will be required to develop a full valuation questionnaire + 3 months to analyse data.
To proceed, they need a set a sound and meaningful change scenario in each region and to to set the Ecosystem Services that will be part of the valuation.
A first explorative study was conducted in North France in 2012; the results were used to elaborate the final protocol of the cognitive mapping approach.
Stakeholders and regional end users Committees will be called up to participate.