This paper describes scientific developments that have raised awareness that changes in ecological assessment (ERA) methods are necessary. The ecosystem services concept seems to gain a central role in developments of new ERA methods. Under the FP6 integraded project NoMIRACLE a method was developed for use of ecosystem services in ERA. In this method assessment endpoints are derived from structures and processes in the ecosystem that are considered indispensabele for the provision of particular ecosystem services. The approach facilitates fine-tuning ERA to specific land use demands, and can therefore be applied in risk management feasibility studies. The approach may be used for assessment of various threats to soil functioning and ES provision, and can also be used for selection of indicators for soil quality and health. In view of the proposed EU Soil Framework Directive there is a need to identify and evaluate indicators for soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. The recently started FP7 EcoFINDERS integrated project will address this issue. We undertook a 'logical sieve' approach to reduce a potential list of ca. 200 indicators to a handful of candidates for testing at well characterized field sites. The resulting selection of most favored indicators will be presented. The paper will briefly enumerate indicators.
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