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

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

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During the last decades, several EU Directives and other international legislations have generated a largenumber 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 isno systematic assessment regarding the nature, quality and availability of information across theEuropean seas. One of the main goals of the MERCES project ( is to produce acensus of available maps of European key marine habitats, along with their degradation status andrestoration potential in the European Seas, providing a potential basis for future discussion on restorationactivities.

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

  1. reviewed known existing habitat maps of European regional seas and provided source citationsfor 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 habitatdeterioration (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, coralligenousassemblages, coral gardens and deep-sea bottom communities) and linked 6 major habitatfeatures, such as dynamics, connectivity, structural complexity and vulnerability, to consequencesfor restoration and the likelihood of restoration success

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
PublisherMERCES Project
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

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