Marine landscapes and benthic habitats in the Archipelago Sea

Anu Reijonen, Anna Nöjd, Heta Rousi, Aarno Kotilainen

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Thisreport describes the validation oflocal scale marine landscapesand EUNIS habitats of the Archipelago Sea, in the BALANCEPilot area 3. Marine landscapes are an approachto classify the marine environment on thebasis of available geophysical and hydrographicalparameters to represent ecologicallyvalid assemblages. First, we de-scribe theidentification of the Archipelago Sealocal scale marine landscapes and the EUNIShabitats and study their distribution. Then we examine the accuracy and confidenceof the datasets and lastly analyse the biologicalrelevance of the landscapes and thehabitats identified. Validation was accomplished withstatistical analyses on the basis of benthic grab samples and underwater video. TheArchipelago Sea forms a heterogeneous naturalenvironment, where wave expo-sure,topography and seabed substrates among other environmental parameters vary withina small area. It is a high interest area formany uses, e.g. recreational activities, fishingand shipping routes. Many studies have beenconducted in the area and as a consequence there is generally a goodavailability of data. In addition to theBALANCE, the Archipelago Sea has servedas a pilot area for the Finnish InventoryProgramme for the Underwater Marine Environment,VELMU.  Localscale marine landscapes, which we present here,give insight to what the archipelago consists of and more importantly enable validationof the available datasets. Marine landscapeshave to include ecological relevance in order tobe useful proxies of biological diversity in a management context. Thusthe knowledge of what can be drawn from them, inrelation to biological values, is vital forinformed planning and management. In addition,the work was undertaken in order to bridgethe gap between marine sciences, especiallybetween biologists and geologists. Weaimed to identify the communication gaps andto highlight the need for multidisciplinary work.  The workshould be seen as an initial step to assess theecological value of marine landscape aswell as to find targets for furtherdevelopment. Results from the study are promisingbut should be taken as first steps. Currentmarine landscapes are not yet inclusive, but a good start for developing ecosystem-basedtools for marine management. Theresults, products and recommendationspresented do not represent any official nationalviewpoints of the involved researchinstitutes or governmental agencies but representthe experiences of an independent partnership.The work has been financed by the Europeandevelopment fund BSR INTERREG IIIBNeighbourhood Programme, The FinnishMinistry of Environment and partlyby the involved partners. Moreinformation on the BALANCE project isavailable at and on theBSR INTERREG IIIB Neighbourhood Programme 

Anu Reijonen and Anna Nöjd GTK and SYKE, Finland

Anu Reijonen and Anna Nöjd GTK and SYKE, Finland

GTK and SYKE, Finland

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameBalance Interim Report


  • Biological validation
  • Marine landscapes
  • Seascapes
  • Confidence
  • Accuracy
  • Archipelago Sea
  • Benthic habitats


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