23 results found in 4 ms Page 1 of 3
Created: 2017-05-04 10:19:37.067 by: Generation Service
The European seas are under anthropogenic pressures impacting the state of water quality, benthic habitats and species. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires the Member States to assess the impacts of pressures and make a programme of measures leading to good environmental status (GES) by 2020. This study presents a method for assessing the quantity and distribution of anthropogenic impacts on benthic habitats in the Baltic Sea by using spatial data of human pressures and benthic habitats. The southern sub-basins were more extensively impacted than the northern sub-basins. Over the entire sea area, deep sea habitats were more impacted than shallower infralittoral and circalittoral habitats. Sand and coarse sediments were the seabed types relatively most impacted in the Baltic Sea scale. A comparison against tentative thresholds for GES showed that in the sub-basin scale only one third of the habitat types was in GES. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Created: 2017-05-04 10:03:24.525 by: Generation Service
Created: 2017-05-04 09:59:42.762 by: Generation Service
To date there has been no evaluation of the capabilities of the Baltic Sea ecosystem models to provide information as outlined by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This work aims to fill in this knowledge gap by exploring the modelling potential of nine Baltic Sea ecosystem models to support this specific European policy and, in particular, models' capabilities to inform on marine biodiversity. Several links are found between the Model-Derived Indicators and some of the relevant biodiversity-related descriptors (i.e. biological diversity and food webs), and pressures (i.e. interference with hydrological processes, nutrient and organic matter enrichment and marine acidification). However several gaps remain, in particular in the limited representation of habitats other than the pelagic that the models are able to address for descriptor sea-floor integrity and inability to assess descriptor non-indigenous species. The general outcome is that the Baltic Sea models considered do not adequately cover all the requested needs of the MSFD, but can potentially do so to a certain extent, while for some descriptors/criteria/indicators/pressures new indicators and/or modelling techniques need to be developed in order to satisfactorily address the requirement of the MSFD and assess the environmental status of the Baltic Sea. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Organizations: Elsevier Ltd
Created: 2017-05-04 09:51:38.579 by: Generation Service
The ICES subdivisions in the North Sea (SD IIIa, SD IVa, and SD IVb) and the subdivisions in the Baltic Sea (SD 29, SD 27/28-2, and SD 25/26) are selected to compare the response in long term monitoring data (1970-2000) with respect to climate regime shifts. A modified AMOEBA model is applied to the data sets to identify the status and development of the North Sea and Baltic Sea system during two recent regime shifts. Biological regime shifts can be identified 1989/1990 in SD IIIa in the North Sea and in SD 25/26 in the Baltic Sea. A synchronous appearance of regime shifts could only be identified in the central and southern Baltic Sea for both regime shifts 1975/76 and 1989/90 where the AMOEBA model indicated a high similarity in ecosystem response. A clear difference was identified in the response of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Inter-annual and inter-decadal variability as well as regime shifts are driven in the Baltic Sea by direct atmospheric forcing only. In contrast, the changes in the North Sea are influenced by both the direct atmospheric forcing and the indirect forcing from the changes in North Atlantic. The fact that regime shifts as well as their synchronous appearance can be identified with the AMOEBA model might be of major interest for the management of sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services, the development of ecosystem approach to management and the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) of the European Union (EU). (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Created: 2017-05-04 09:30:15.863 by: Generation Service
Created: 2017-05-04 10:48:36.867 by: Generation Service
Evaluating the state of benthic communities has played an important role in water quality assessments. Indices incorporating species sensitivities, richness and densities are commonly applied. In Europe, the importance of benthic indices has increased in the last years with the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) which at the same time demands the applicability of an index across regional scales. To date, environmental variability is rarely considered in benthic indices and most sensitivity rankings have the disadvantages of static values (i.e. the same value in all areas), expert judgement and a limited geographical range. This study presents species sensitivity values calculated along environmental gradients for the Baltic Sea. Sensitivities were calculated according to the procedure of the Benthic Quality Index (BQI). We created a matrix of subregions, classes of salinity, depth and gear to identify comparable subsets for data analysis. Altogether, 19 subsets were defined within the Baltic Sea basins. Sensitivity values were calculated for 329 species out of a total of 678 species that were recorded in this study. Sensitivity values of taxa vary between subsets as it was expected for different environmental conditions. Most sensitivity values can be assigned to species occurring in euhaline and polyhaline waters. Distribution of species with high and low sensitivity values differed along the salinity gradient. In euhaline waters more species with high sensitivity values occurred than species with low sensitivity values, while in mesohaline waters the ratio of high and low sensitivity values among species was almost equal. In oligohaline waters more species with lower sensitivity values were present. For the first time, sensitivity values were calculated for a large number of species using the same method for the entire Baltic Sea. This results in a Baltic-wide comprehensive set of sensitivity values based on a dataset across subregional borders, and divided along environmental gradients and gear type. The same principles can be applied to transient waters from rivers to coastal lagoons as well as to other environments with gradients of, e.g. hydrodynamic characteristics. Publicly available sensitivity values will increase transparency and support the improvement of state assessments under the MSFD. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Organizations: Elsevier Ltd.
Created: 2017-05-04 10:38:57.233 by: Generation Service
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires Member States to estimate the level of human impacts on their marine waters. We report the first attempt to quantify the magnitude and distribution of cumulative impacts of anthropogenic pressures for an entire regional sea, the Baltic Sea. We used a method which takes account of the sensitivity of different ecosystem components and gives scores for potential impacts in 5 km x 5 km areas. Our quantification of impacts was based on data layers of anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem components. The classification of the anthropogenic pressures follows the MSFD and the outcome of the index was targeted to facilitate the implementation of the directive. The study presents the cumulative impacts over the entire sea area and shows that the highest estimated impacts were in the southern and south-western sea areas and in the Gulf of Finland. The lowest index values were found in the Gulf of Bothnia. The results coincide with the population densities of the adjacent catchment areas. Fishing, inputs of nutrients and organic matter and inputs of hazardous substances comprised 25%, 30% and 30%, respectively, of the total cumulative impact. The approach used is transparent and the results are useful in regard to ecosystem-based management, e.g. for area-based management and assessments. Examples of uses are given together with analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Coping with uncertainties in science-based advice informing environmental management of the Baltic Sea
Created: 2017-05-04 10:42:50.513 by: Generation Service
Managing uncertainty is a main challenge for sustainable management of complex socioecological systems, such as marine ecosystems. Today, a growing number of scientific publications address decision-making practices under conditions of high uncertainty. However, very few studies have analyzed how science treats uncertainty before it reaches decision-makers, especially for various marine environmental issues. This study aims to fill these research gaps by identifying the main theoretical approaches to science-based uncertainty management proposed in the scientific literature. Furthermore, by scrutinizing advisory documents, current approaches and methods to assess and treat uncertainty in science-based advice are analyzed and compared for five significant environmental issues in the Baltic Sea (eutrophication, fisheries, invasive species, chemical pollution, and oil spills). Specifically, the study analyzes the types of uncertainties acknowledged, how strategies and practices present and address uncertainties, and whether new theoretical proposals identified in the scientific literature affect existing practices. The study's results reveal that current scientific practices do not adequately address uncertainty in advice formulation. First, no common guideline is in use, resulting in significant differences among studied environmental issues and a common lack of structure, clarity, established terminology, and transparency in the assessment and treatment of uncertainty. Furthermore, new theoretical developments connected with uncertainty appraisal (such as theoretical typologies) and new tools and methods for handling uncertainty (such as precautionary and participatory approaches) are hardly utilized in practice in the management of the Baltic ecosystem. Consequently, although theoretical approaches for coping with uncertainty in complex socio-ecological systems are ample, the challenge for the future is to implement these approaches more effectively in assessment and management frameworks. The study discusses possible improvements to current practices in environmental management of large-scale socio-ecological systems such as the Baltic Sea and other regional seas, acknowledging that these measures will not reduce all existing uncertainty but rather contribute to a more comprehensive treatment of uncertainties. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Organizations: Elsevier Ltd.
Created: 2017-05-04 10:08:56.588 by: Generation Service
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires assessment of environmental status in relation to changing human pressures. In this study taxonomic composition of beach wrack is proposed as an indicator for the assessment of coastal sea benthic macrovegetation biodiversity within the context of the MSFD. Based on the relationships between eutrophication metrics and taxonomic structure of benthic vegetation, the Beach Wrack Macrovegetation Index (BMI) was developed and tested as a case study of the northern Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea). The index showed a higher benthic biodiversity in areas with higher water transparency, lower nutrient concentrations, and lower Baltic Sea Pressure Index values. Compared to commonly used metrics, the BMI is an easy-to-use and cost-effective method, which can be further incorporated within a citizen science project. The method can be recommended for the areas that are not affected by strong tides or persistent currents. Boreal summer is the preferred season for sampling because then the impact of hydrodynamic effects on the structure of stormcast is the lowest.
Created: 2017-05-04 09:54:11.077 by: Generation Service
This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect.
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