The development of flexible and effective conservation strategies and their implementation will be essential in order to halt the loss of biodiversity. These should concentrate on managing dynamic ecosystems for maintaining their capacity to undergo disturbance, while retaining their functions, services and control mechanisms (ecological resilience). RUBICODE will concentrate on assessing the ecological resilience of those components of biological diversity essential for maintaining ecosystem services. There are seven specific project objectives:
1. To develop and apply concepts of dynamic ecosystems and the services they provide, covering both terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in a comprehensive framework.
2. To explore relationships between service-providing populations, ecosystem resilience, function and health, and socio-economic and environmental drivers of biodiversity change.
3. To improve and test indicators that provide rapid assessment methods for monitoring ecosystem and habitat ecological quality.
4. To characterise biological traits that lead to a population becoming threatened, rare or invasive.
5. To develop habitat management strategies that take account of drivers of biodiversity change in order to maintain threatened populations or assist populations to adapt.
6. To suggest priorities for habitat, ecosystem and landscape biodiversity conservation policy on the basis of dynamic ecosystems and the services they provide, including the perfection and maintenance of endangered habitat lists.
7. To identify gaps in knowledge and propose a plan for future research that is required to develop innovative pan-European conservation strategies for terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.