To accurately analyze the health of an ecosystem many factors have to be taken into consideration. Several of these data (soil and water quality, plant distribution, etc.) may be referred to as baseline data, and may provide information on the variety and quantity of species, as well as their interrelations with their habitat. Without these data there is no quantitative way of studying what generates diversity, how it may be changing, and how it may be affected by environmental factors or human impact. Due to the rapid rate of environmental change it is imperative that current levels of biodiversity be sustained as protection against an uncertain future (Aschemeier, Bishop, Hudson, Keller, Kiley 1998).
Ecosystems function in cycles; they are far from static, and do not
change only in relation to human impact. In order to understand how changes
in biodiversity affect an ecosystem, ecologists must look at soil quality,
environmental factors, land use, climate changes, water quality, species
distribution and species invasion
The purpose of this evaluation is to provide a set of baseline data to be used for future reference and to track environmental changes in the target area, whereas past environmental analysis was conducted to study the developmental potential of the U.C. Clermont Campus (HCN, MSM, EC 1996).