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Environmental change network

The Environmental Change Network (ECN) is the UK's long-term environmental monitoring programme. It is designed to collect, store, analyse and interpret long-term data based on a set of key physical, chemical and biological variables which drive and respond to environmental change at a range of terrestrial and freshwater sites across the UK. ECN was launched in 1992. Monitoring started formally in 1993 at terrestrial sites and 1994 at freshwater sites. The data are stored in a central database and are available through a variety of data access methods.

Some ECN sites provide excellent opportunities for field research, since they are well instrumented, with a wealth of historical data and have good access.

National Nature Reserves within the ECN network

Creag Meagaidh : Terrestrial site.

Inshriach and Invereshie : Alt a'Mharcaidh ; Terrestrial site. This site is located near Aviemore in Strathspey. The site lies on the western flank of the Cairngorms and is the catchment of the Allt a' Mharcaidh (a site in the ECN freshwater network) and covers some 10 km2 This is the first ECN site in the UK's sub-arctic zone and is an important link not only to other upland ECN sites but to sites in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Loch Leven : Freshwater site. The loch has been intensively monitored since the mid 1960's and long-term data sets of various biological and chemical parameters have been built up. As a result, Loch Leven has become an invaluable research resource for addressing issues such as eutrophication and climate change. Recent evidence suggests that although there have been encouraging signs of improvement in the ecology of the loch, a sustained recovery has yet to occur.

Muir of Dinnet : Lochs Davan and Kinord ; Freshwater site These lochs within the Muir of Dinnet NNR . Loch Kinord (area 79.0 ha) is oligotrophic whereas Loch Davan (31.1 ha) is mesotrophic with recent research suggesting a transition towards eutrophication. The difference in trophic status reflects the higher proportion of agricultural land use in the Davan catchment

Last updated on Monday 27th May 2013 at 11:30 AM. Click here to comment on this page