Since several months we are developing a Benthos-based Indicator system for the evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M). The evaluation tool will specifically be used to report on the quality developments towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and evaluation of management regulations (i.e. fisheries restrictions) in Natura 2000 areas and other areas of special interest. The latest newsletter of the Marine Information and Data Centre (Informatiehuis Marien) has some attention for our work: ‘Measuring with benthic macrofauna‘. (The article is in Dutch).
Ecoauthor is happy that the Framework Agreement Biology concerning Specialist Advice and Methodology Development was awarded to us by Rijkswaterstaat (RWS-CIV, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) for a range of competences in the field of Hydrobiology, Ecological Monitoring of Flora & Fauna, and Ecological Mapping. The Agreement is signed for three years. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation and are ready to put it in practice.
At present Ecoauthor is working on the development of the National Benthos Indicator for evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research. The challenge is to develop a transparant indicator that will be used for various evaluations and reportings (e.g. MSFD, Habitat Directive, evaluation of Nature 2000 management and evaluation of effectivity of taken measures) that can act on the various spatial and temporal scales involved and will be indicative for causes of potentially observed changes as well. Yesterday we had some good discussions and valuable information exchange during an expert workshop as organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Ministry of Infrastucture and the Environment (I&M) for which I like to thank all participants and the organizers.
‘Trends with latitude are primarily indirect and so can be overcome by local variation of environmental factors.‘
This is the conclusion of a recent study investigating geographic patterns in European coastal marine macrobenthic communities, based on a pan-European harmonized monitoring by EMBOS partners (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System). Latitudinal trends and regional differences in diversity and densities appear to be merely the result of particular sets and ranges of environmental factors and location characteristics specific to certain areas. The diversity and densities of benthos were mostly positively correlated with environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, mud and organic matter content in sediment, or wave height, and related with location characteristics such as system type (lagoons, estuaries, open coast) or stratum (intertidal, subtidal).
The study with ‘Ecoauthor involvement‘ is published online in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK and available since september 14th, 2016. You can contact me for more information by using the contact form.
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