State of the knowledge on European marine habitat mapping and degraded habitats. Deliverable 1.1, MERCES Project.

D4 Published development or research report or study

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Bekkby T, Gerovasileiou V, Papadopoulou K-N, Sevastou K, Dailianis T, Fiorentino D, McOwen C, Smith CJ, Amaro T, Bakran-Petricioli T, Bilan M, Boström C, Carreiro-Silva M, Carugati L, Cebrian E, Cerrano C, Christie H, Danovaro R, Eronat EGT, Fraschetti S, Gagnon K, Gambi C, Grehan A, Hereu B, Kipson S, Kizilkaya IT, Kotta J, Linares C, Milanese M, Morato T, Ojaveer H, Orav-Kotta H, Pham CK, Rinde E, Sarà A, Scharfe M, Scrimgeour R
Publisher: MERCES Project
Publication year: 2017


During the last decades, several EU Directives and other international legislations have generated a large
number of national initiatives (e.g. marine atlases) and EU programmes on habitat mapping.
Nevertheless, the outcomes of these initiatives are fragmented and, to our best knowledge, to date there is
no systematic assessment regarding the nature, quality and availability of information across the
European seas. One of the main goals of the MERCES project ( is to produce a
census of available maps of European key marine habitats, along with their degradation status and
restoration potential in the European Seas, providing a potential basis for future discussion on restoration

MERCES is producing a census of European marine key habitat maps, degraded habitat maps and
investigating key habitat restoration potential. To do this MERCES has

  1. reviewed known existing habitat maps of European regional seas and provided source citations
    for all of the information

  2. reviewed degraded habitat map resources by regional sea and habitat type (e.g. seagrass,
    macroalgae, coral gardens, sponge aggregations, seamounts, vents), associated habitat
    deterioration (e.g. extent of decline), the most common human activities and pressures reported,
    and the recovery and restoration potential of these habitats

  3. reviewed 6 key habitats (including kelp and macroalgal forests, seagrass meadows, coralligenous
    assemblages, coral gardens and deep-sea bottom communities) and linked 6 major habitat
    features, such as dynamics, connectivity, structural complexity and vulnerability, to consequences
    for restoration and the likelihood of restoration success

Last updated on 2020-07-06 at 04:48