Utilizing Indicators of Ecological Change

September 2004 Presentation 

Principal Investigator

Virginia H. Dale
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Other Participants

Stream Macroinvertebrates
Jack Feminella and Kelly Maloney
Department of Biological Sciences
Auburn University

Historical Land Cover
Thomas Foster
Panamerican Consultants, Inc.

Aquatic Ecology
Patrick Mulholland
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Geographic Information and Landscape Analysis
Latha Baskaran and Lisa Olsen
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Soil Microbiology
David White, Aaron Peacock, and James Cantu
Center for Biomarker Analysis
University of Tennessee

Terrestrial and Landscape Indicators
Virginia Dale and Dan Druckenbrod
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory


The SERDP Ecosystem Management Program (SEMP) selected this project to help identify indicators of ecosystem change focusing on the test site of Fort Benning, Georgia, with the intent that the ideas would be applicable across the diverse properties of the Department of Defense (DoD). Click here to view this project's quarterly and annual reports.


  1. To identify indicators that signal ecological change in intensely versus lightly used ecological systems
  2. To ensure that these indicators are feasible for the installation staff to measure and interpret and thus can become a part of the ongoing monitoring system at the installation

These are images of different areas within Ft. Benning that have had different levels of disturbance: Left) Reference Fores; Center Top) Marginal disturbance due to vehicles; Center Bottom) Significant disturbance due to vehicle; and Right) Restored forest.

Technical Approach


The participants of this study are conducting outreach meetings with the local government officials, chamber of commerce members, and other community leaders in order to share their findings and receive input as to how these findings can be best utilized in the public sector for developing ecologically sensitive land use plans.

Products/Papers (Full list of products )

Links to Other Sites on Ecological Indicators

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March 28, 2005