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Similarly, while acknowledging the availability of several methods to measure single pressures and assess their impacts, evaluation of cumulative effects of multiple pressures remains scarce. Therefore, an integrative assessment requires us to first understand the response of marine ecosystems to human activities and their pressures and then develop innovative, cost-effective monitoring tools that enable collection of data to assess the health status of large marine areas.

Conceptually, combining this knowledge of effective monitoring methods with cost-benefit analyses will help identify appropriate management measures to improve environmental status economically and efficiently. Here, we synthesize our main innovative findings, placing these within the context of recent wider research, and identifying gaps and the major future challenges.

A recent assessment of marine ecosystem ecology identified eight grand research challenges Borja, : i understanding the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functionality; ii understanding the relationships between human pressures and ecosystems; iii understanding the impacts of global change on marine ecosystems; iv developing integrative assessment of marine ecosystem health; v ensuring delivery of ecosystem services by conserving and protecting the seas; vi understanding the way in which ecosystem structure and functioning may recover through restoration; vii understanding the need for an ecosystem approach and integrated spatial planning in managing ocean use, and viii developing better ecosystem models to support more effective management.

These challenges reflect widespread recognition of clear effects of pressures from established and emerging human activities on marine ecosystems Halpern et al. Given the multiple pressures society places on marine ecosystems and the broad range of services they provide, a holistic assessment Borja et al. They need to be identified and addressed in a systematic way.

And while we need to acknowledge the differences and diversity of our seas, there are some issues which can only be adequately addressed on a European scale. Hence, the vision for clean, healthy, biodiverse, and productive oceans and seas with sustainable resource use requires bridging the gap between policy and science in assessing the status of marine ecosystems by increasing scientific knowledge of marine ecosystems and their functioning, including humans and their role as part of the ecosystem Borja et al.

Indeed, recent European and national policies enshrine the vision of healthy and biologically diverse seas e.


More recently, the European Union and United Nations have tried to address problems associated with exploitation of deep fishing resources and associated impacts on biodiversity St. John et al. The development and implementation of policy and legislation globally demonstrate a significant effort to improve the status of the seas, including an ecosystem approach to ocean use management Browman et al.

The MSFD requires that Member States assess ecosystem characteristics, pressures, and impacts with respect to 11 descriptors related to: biological diversity, non-indigenous species, commercial fish and shellfish, food-webs, eutrophication, seafloor integrity, hydrographic conditions, concentration of contaminants in the environment and in fish and other seafood consumed by humans, marine litter, and introduction of energy including underwater noise.

Within these 11 descriptors, the European Commission then defines 29 criteria and 56 indicators necessary in evaluating environmental status. The assessment of environmental status, while scientifically challenging Stanley, , simultaneously offers many opportunities for European marine research to support an ecosystem approach to environmental management, which EU Member States have agreed to implement Borja et al.

This project considers these complex, inter-related scientific issues and management needs of the MSFD, as well as the challenges shared by the four regional seas identified within the MSFD. Its main objectives were:. Biological diversity, D2. Non-indigenous species, D4. Food-webs, and D6. Seafloor integrity , at several ecological levels species, habitat, ecosystems , and characterize and classify status of marine waters;. We therefore set an overall goal of better understanding the relationships between pressures from human activities and climate change, and their effects on marine ecosystems, including biological diversity, in order to support ecosystem-based management and attain GES of marine waters.

Ecology of Marine Bivalves: An Ecosystem Approach, Second Edition - Richard F. Dame - Google книги

Our harmonized approach to the four European regional seas tested and validated existing indicators, created new indicators when necessary, developed modeling tools for the assessment of biodiversity, tested new monitoring tools and established an integrative approach for assessing environmental status. This overview describes how this research has contributed to advancing the state-of-the-art since in bridging the gap between science and policy in marine environmental status assessment.

Specifically, this addresses elements such as human pressures, indicator development, model use, innovative monitoring, and integrative assessment tools , in order to achieve healthy and sustainable ocean use. Here we synthesize key responses to major environmental questions and the lessons learnt. This information will support managers and policy-makers in making decisions for improved management of ocean use.

Marine environmental managers primarily aim to protect and maintain natural structure and functioning while simultaneously ensuring that ecosystems provide services, which in turn deliver benefits for society Atkins et al. In the management of human activities in the marine environment, it is axiomatic that a regulatory body i. However, detractors criticize the vague definition of PP, and balancing scientific uncertainty and appropriate management measures remains a challenge Steel, The third key feature states that any developer wishing to use the marine system must obtain permission from a regulatory body, hence the importance of sufficient administrative bodies Boyes and Elliott, , ; Elliott, ; this encompasses the whole of marine governance, defined as the net result of policies, politics, legislation, and administration Barnard and Elliott, The latter requires integrating natural and economic sciences to enable sustainability within and across generations and it may require developers to compensate affected users, the affected resource e.

However, all of these central features relate to how users use an area of the sea e.

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Finally, a sixth key feature requires quantitative and legally defendable detection of such change with a direct feedback into management. These key features require a defendable, holistic, underlying framework, accepted, and communicable to marine managers and wider users. That framework must link causes of potential and actual changes to the marine environment, the types of changes experienced and societal responses to mediating or removing the drivers of change or at least accepting change for the benefits provided.

This modified approach adds Activities, and relates the Impact to human Welfare and the Responses to the use of Measures the term preferred by EU Directives. Drivers describe underlying basic human needs, such as for food, security, space, and well-being, which require Activities fishing, building wind farms, creating navigation routes. These activities then create Pressures, such as scraping the seabed with bottom trawls or building infrastructure that removes space. Pressures are the mechanisms that change the system, potentially causing concern.

The term Welfare is used sensu stricto to include economic welfare and human and societal well-being Oxford English Dictionary. Furthermore, all of the activities and external changes could potentially adversely affect that main aim the protection of the social and ecological systems , and may thus be considered hazards. If these hazards damage parts of the socio-ecological system we value, they may be termed risks, thus providing a hazard and risk typology used in the DEVOTES project Elliott et al. Smith et al. The challenges were addressed in moving from conceptual models to actual assessments including: assessment methodologies interactive matrices, Bayesian Belief Networks, ecosystem modeling, the Bow Tie approach, assessment tools , data availability, confidence, scaling, cumulative impacts, and multiple simultaneous pressures, which more often occur in multi-use and multi-user areas Smith et al.

Society and environmental managers need to know not only the current status of a marine system, but also whether it has been altered, the cause of that alteration, its significance, and what can be done to reverse that change. Therefore, this requirement creates the need to consider how Pressures result in State change, in the natural system, and a societally relevant Impact of sea use including the assessment of cumulative pressures and impacts, as shown by Korpinen and Andersen, ; hence the need to consider not just Welfare sensu DPSWR in Cooper, but the Impact on human Welfare.

This need explicitly includes an economic approach and a human health and well-being approach to human-induced changes. Furthermore, while that State change may often relate to the physico-chemical and ecological structure of the marine system, it increasingly requires users to consider the ecological functioning Strong et al. The detection or prediction of changes to the natural state and impacts on human welfare require action to minimize, mitigate, compensate, remove, or even accept changes through societal Responses the R in DPSIR.

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During the past decade, management has recognized the need to include all measures which therefore, as referred to as the Programme of Measures in the MSFD, should consider aspects of ecology, technology, economy, legislation, and administration. The prevailing governance system provides a central control on adverse effects of human activities. The EU arguably represents the pre-eminent proponent of marine environmental legislation and other aspects of governance Boyes and Elliott, , but the complexity of the marine system, the need for transboundary action and the joint implementation of different systems have produced anomalies, confusion, and a need for an inter-governmental transboundary approach Cavallo et al.

Most of the above framework relates to activities and pressures emanating from within a system such as a sea region, under management, for example the Baltic or North Seas Andersen et al. These may be termed endogenic managed pressures in which the causes and consequences in the region are managed Elliott, and under legislative control Boyes and Elliott, Exogenic unmanaged pressures i.

Ecological drivers and habitat associations of estuarine bivalves

Climate change offers a primary example, in which human impacts e. Climate change therefore shifts baselines, complicating evaluation change associated with internal activities in a region, but also potentially nullifying the use of quantitative indicators or at least requiring the target values of those indicators to be continually revised.

A Member State not meeting legislative controls, such as directives, may therefore cite climate change as a modifying factor but one outside of its control Elliott et al.

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Targets that cannot be reached due to changes caused by climate change effects are not manageable and need to be revised as a part of the 6 years management cycle. Successful ocean use management relies on adequate and comprehensive monitoring, and identifying appropriate measurements of change.

Management response requires a clear understanding of underlying causes and effects of change in the marine environment and their consequences. Hence, the use of conceptual models linking the marine drivers, activities, and pressures can provide that solid foundation to link to state changes, impacts on societal welfare, and the resulting management responses using programmes of measures.

Similarly, management relies on the ability to predict and detect future responses of the system to changes with sufficient certainty; prediction requires conceptual, empirical, and deterministic models, whereas detection implies the presence of robust monitoring systems at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Hence, an adequate assessment of marine status can only be achieved through fit-for-purpose monitoring based on sound scientific knowledge.

The multifaceted concept of biodiversity encompasses everything from the genetic composition of species to the organization of habitats and ecosystems CBD, Despite the widely recognized need to maintain biodiversity, its many interpretations make difficult any comprehensive evaluation and therefore it is necessary to use indicators, or simplified measures, that reflect or synthesize the status of important aspects of ecosystem structure or function. Marine assessments depend upon indicators to detect and evaluate changes in environmental status driven by either natural or human pressures, often in the context of implementing management targets for environmental objectives and measures.

Therefore, scientists and managers worldwide seek accurate and reliable indicators that represent all relevant aspects of marine biodiversity either as individual aspects or as surrogates proxies for series of changes for example the use of the breeding health of piscivorous seabirds as a proxy for the whole marine trophic system. Although, many nations worldwide recognize the need for an ecosystem approach to ocean management, the EU has led in developing specific metrics toward that objective. The European Commission Decision specifies criteria and methodological standards to evaluate environmental status of marine waters, based upon a set of 56 MSFD indicators.

In practice, during the first phase of the MSFD implementation, EU Member States used different methodological approaches to determine and assess ecosystem status European Commission, ; Palialexis et al. Data availability, regional specificities, and potentially different interpretations of the EU Commission Decision led to discrepancies within methodologies reported by Member States, increasing the potential for non-harmonized approaches to status determination.

Concurrently, the RSCs are developing indicators for holistic marine assessments e.


Developing the inventory demonstrated that, despite many available marine biodiversity indicators, obvious gaps remain regarding some biotic components and criteria required for the MSFD implementation Teixeira et al. Furthermore, information regarding the quality and confidence of the indicators is currently insufficient. Most available operational indicators target coastal and shelf ecosystems and cover WFD biological quality elements, such as macroinvertebrates, fish, phytoplankton, macroalgae, and seagrasses.

Major current gaps include ecosystem level and genetic population level indicators, as well as indicators for microbes, pelagic and planktonic invertebrates, reptiles, ice-associated species, and communities, and deep-sea habitats. Most indicators lack regional targets or GES threshold values, and few measure confidence levels or demonstrably link to pressures. We developed 16 new indicators and refined another 13 indicators Berg et al. These indicators mainly relate to the biodiversity-related Descriptors D1, D2, D4, and D6 , and cover the full range of biological components i.

For example, we developed four new indicators for microbes bacteria and cyanobacteria , but their poor score on pressure responsiveness and the potential to set targets indicated a need for further development and validation Berg et al. Some phytoplankton biomass indicators, such as chlorophyll-a concentration from satellite measurements, provide valuable assessments of pressures leading to eutrophication, but linking changes in diverse and rapidly fluctuating phytoplankton composition with impacts of nutrient loading has proved challenging Camp et al.

Table 1. Also indicators were developed to address the environmental impacts of invasive non-indigenous species in European regional seas Minchin and Zaiko, ; Zaiko et al. Moreover, the project developed new food-web indicators focusing on primary and secondary producers, both for phytoplankton and fish.

An indicator for systematic high-resolution habitat mapping and characterization scored high in the indicator-evaluation as it may be a proxy for many of the 56 MSFD indicators. We also recently developed and tested numerous promising indicators that capture effects of fishing on marine biodiversity, e. Furthermore, a newly developed indicator based on DNA metabarcoding assesses genetic diversity of macroinvertebrates and microorganisms Aylagas et al. Finally, we introduced a new approach to set indicator targets in relation to ecosystem resilience i.

This approach is a specific, quantitative interpretation of the concepts of GES and sustainable use in terms of indicators and associated targets. Importantly, it distinguishes between current and future uses to satisfy societal needs and preferences. Increasing legal challenges of marine and coastal management, both to the EU Member State implementation of Directives and industry compliance with national laws, which hinge upon detecting and demonstrating marine environmental change Elliott et al.

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Those indicators must be comprehensive, either in covering all relevant aspects of the marine system or as conceptually defensible surrogates that represent a well-defined and well-accepted causal link e. We tested and refined 13 available biodiversity indicators, developed 16 new options for assessment, particularly for biological descriptors considering species, habitat and ecosystem levels , identified gaps for future research, developed indicator performance criteria, and provided a user-friendly tool to select and rank indicators Table 1.

These publicly-available contributions Berg et al. Understanding how changes in biodiversity link to food-web functioning, anthropogenic pressures, and climate changes requires novel, integrative modeling tools.