Habitat mapping in the European Seas - is it fit for purpose in the marine restoration agenda

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Gerovasileiou V, Smith CJ, Sevastou K, Papadopoulou N, Dailianis T, Bekkby T, Fiorentino D, McOwen C, Amaro T, Bengil EGT, Bilan M, Boström C, Carreiro-Silva M, Cebrian E, Cerrano C, Danovaro R, Fraschetti S, Gagnon K, Gambi C, Grehan A, Hereu B, Kipson S, Kotta J, Linares C, Morato T, Ojaveer H, Orav-Kotta H, Sarà A, Scrimgeour R
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Marine Policy
Volume number: 106


Abstract










As habitat mapping is crucially important for developing effective management and restoration plans, the aim of this
work was to produce a census of available map resources at the European scale focusing on: a) key marine habitats; b)
degraded habitats; c) human activities and pressures acting on degraded habitats, and d) the restoration potential of
degraded habitats. Almost half of the 580 map records were derived from grey literature and web resources but
contained no georeferenced files for download, thus limiting further use of the data. Biogeographical heterogeneity was
observed and varied between the type and quality of information provided. This variability was mainly related to
differences in research efforts and stakeholder focus. Habitat degradation was assessed in only 28% of the map records
and was mostly carried out in a qualitative manner. Less than half of the map records included assessments on the
recovery/restoration potential of the degraded habitats, with passive restoration by removal of human activities being
the most commonly recommended measure. The current work has identified several gaps and challenges both in the
thematic and geographic coverage of the available map resources, as well as in the approaches implemented for the
harmonized assessment of habitat degradation. These should guide future mapping initiatives in order to more com-
prehensively support and advise the marine habitat restoration agenda for better meeting the objectives set in relevant
policy documents and legislative acts in Europe.





Keywords

Ecosystem recovery, habitat restoration, marine habitat mapping

Last updated on 2019-18-09 at 08:35