55 research outputs found

    Relationships between Pressures, Chemical Status, and Biological Quality Elements. Analysis of the Current Knowledge Gaps for the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive

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    The general objective of the REBECCA project1 is to provide relevant scientific support for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The two specific aims of the project are, firstly, to establish links between ecological status of surface waters and physico-chemical quality elements and pressures from different sources, and, secondly, to develop and validate tools that member states can use in the process of classification, in the design of their monitoring programs, and in the design of measures in accordance with the requirements of the WFD. Historically, there has been great success in maintaining and improving the quality of surface waters by developing an understanding of the links between anthropogenic pressures (e.g. water abstraction, agriculture, and effluent discharges) and the chemical status of waters, although there remain many challenges in reliably designing and implementing the necessary programs of measures. Our present understanding of the link between chemical properties and ecological state, while good in some instances, is generally not adequate to support management intervention against ecological objectives. In this report we review and identify information gaps in our knowledge on relations between pressures, chemical and ecological status for the major pressures types and biological quality elements. We also give an overview of the chemical parameters that are used to determine the ecological status of water body types and of the biological indicators currently applied and/or potentially applicable as classification parameters for inland and coastal waters. This gap-analysis is needed to 1) identify the key areas of further work within the REBECCA project and 2) to identify the areas where further experimental or monitoring work would be needed (beyond the scope of REBECCA), due to lack of data or quantitative understanding of the functional relationships between chemical status and biological quality indicators. This report should help in focusing the on-going WFD intercalibration process in 2005-6. In particular it should provide insights on which biological and pressure parameters should be selected and which data there would be available to illustrate the degradation of the biological quality with respect of pressure gradients.JRC.H.5-Rural, water and ecosystem resource

    Tuhansien vesien maa

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    Are benthic fluxes important for the availability of Si in the Gulf of Finland?

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    We estimated the efflux of dissolved silicon (DSi) from sediments in the Gulf of Finland and compared it to sedimentation fluxes, burial of Si and existing data on Si loading and stocks, reassessing the reliability of existing Si budgets. Benthic fluxes of DSi measured in situ and in vitro were several times higher than estimates from diffusion calculations. The spatial variability in the open Gulf of Finland was relatively small, while both very high and low fluxes were measured from coastal areas. Fluxes were highest in late summer and lowest in early spring. In our re-assessed budget we present a new lower estimate for Si burial in the sediments, ca. 6 Gmol a(-1) and show that more than half of the sedimentation flux of Si is released back into the water column. Changes in the efficiency of internal DSi recycling may thus affect the prevalence of siliceous phytoplankton within the ecosystem, and the diatom spring bloom may be regulated by the functioning of this internal recycling pump. We also show that the seasonal variation in benthic DSi fluxes and dissolved phosphate fluxes is similar, and that a tentative connection between hypoLxia and high DSi efflux exists. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Peer reviewe

    The role of economics in ecosystem based management:The case of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive; first lessons learnt and way forward

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    The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) sets out a plan of action relating to marine environmental policy and in particular to achieving ‘good environmental status’ (GES) in European marine waters by 2020. Article 8.1 (c) of the Directive calls for ‘an economic and social analysis of the use of those waters and of the cost of degradation of the marine environment’. The MSFD is ‘informed’ by the Ecosystem Approach to management, with GES interpreted in terms of ecosystem functioning and services provision. Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach is expected to be by adaptive management policy and practice. The initial socio-economic assessment was made by maritime EU Member States between 2011 and 2012, with future updates to be made on a regular basis. For the majority of Member States, this assessment has led to an exercise combining an analysis of maritime activities both at national and coastal zone scales, and an analysis of the non-market value of marine waters. In this paper we examine the approaches taken in more detail, outline the main challenges facing the Member States in assessing the economic value of achieving GES as outlined in the Directive and make recommendations for the theoretically sound and practically useful completion of the required follow-up economic assessments specified in the MSFD

    Editorial: Bridging the gap between policy and science in assessing the health status of marine ecosystems

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    Human activities,both established and emerging, increasingly affect the provision of marine ecosystem services that deliver societal and economic benefits. Monitoring the status of marine ecosystems and determining how human activities change their capacity to sustain benefits for society requires an evidence-based Integrated Ecosystem Assessment approach that incorporates knowledge of ecosystem functioning and services).Although,there are diverse methods to assess the status of individual ecosystem components, none assesses the health of marine ecosystems holistically, integrating information from multiple ecosystem components. 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. The European project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status) specifically addressed these topics in order to support policymakers and managers in implementing the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Here, we synthesize our main innovative findings, placing these within the context of recent wider research, and identifying gaps and the major future challenges

    Exploring methods for predicting multiple pressures on ecosystem recovery: A case study on marine eutrophication and fisheries

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    AbstractEfforts to attain good environmental status in the marine realm require decisions which cannot be done without knowledge of effects of different management measures. Given the wide diversity of marine ecosystems, multitude of pressures affecting it and the still poor understanding on linkages between those, there are likely no models available to give all the required answers. Hence, several separate approaches can be used in parallel to give support for management measures. We tested three completely different methods – a spatial impact index, a food web model and a Bayesian expert method. We found that a large uncertainty existed regarding the ecosystem response to the management scenarios, and that the three different modelling approaches complemented each other. The models indicated that in order to reach an improved overall state of the ecosystem nutrient reductions are the more effective of the two management variables explored, and that cumulative effects of the management of nutrient inputs and fishing mortality are likely to exist

    Nature’s contributions to people and human well-being in a Nordic coastal context

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    In this chapter, essential ecological and societal aspects of the Nordic coastal environment are highlighted. These show that local communities and stakeholders need to be more involved in decision-making because their needs and their ecological knowledge are essentialto this process. This also relates to Aichi targets 14, 15, 16 and 18 (see Lucas et al., 2015). There is the need to improve the monitoring of all types of NCP or ecosystem services and to critically review existing indicators that may be used to track the development of biodiversity and NCP. Only by actively analysing data and creating syntheses, is it possible to understand changes in the ecosystem linking biodiversity and NCP
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