Participation in the Programme
The minimum requirement for participation in the programme is a transect of three pollen traps placed:
  1. in the forest,
  2. at the forest edge and,
  3. in the unforested area.
In order to allow comparison with other projects and to give a preliminary characterization, one moss polster should be taken from each trap location when the monitoring station is first established. Traps for the first stage of the programme should be established at the end of the flowering season (September-October) 1996. After that each addition of traps to the programme should commence at the same time of year (September-October) to ensure that the sampling period is always the same.
It is appreciated that in some European countries "natural" forest is relatively rare, or indeed impossible to find, and the present distribution of forest and open areas is potentially very different from what it was in the past. It is perhaps most realistic to consider the presence or absence of forest or to compare forested and unforested areas with the proviso that, where possible, the vegetation being monitored should be as natural as possible.
The type of forest vegetation to be monitored is left to the discretion of each participant so that the results obtained are immediately relevant to ongoing projects producing fossil data which can use the modern influx data in the interpretation. It is important that the programme is initiated through researchers who are interested in setting up pollen traps and continuing the monitoring for several years, rather than through designating specific regions of Europe or specific forest types as focal points for the monitoring. Since, however, this will inevitably lead to an uneven coverage of forest types within Europe it is hoped that within each country researchers will look for the possibility to collaborate so as to jointly cover as wide a range of situations as possible.