Chapter 5: Ecological indicators: assessing ecosystem health using metrics
Chapter 4 discussed how selecting an appropriate communication product can affect an audience and persuade opinions. This chapter discusses how using another tool, an indicator (Figure 5.1), not only can persuade opinions, but also can be used to evaluate the health of an ecosystem. It starts by introducing what an ecological indicator is and why it is important and then describes different kinds of indicators, the process of selecting an indicator, how indicators are used to aid in management decisions, and how to structure indicators. Selecting, developing, and communicating ecological indicators are perhaps the most important, yet challenging aspects of a coastal assessment program and, therefore, should be given appropriate effort and resources.