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Developing innovative tools to understand marine biodiversity and good environmental status

 

PML scientists are involved in a new EU funded project DEVOTES which aims to improve our knowledge about how human activities and global change impact marine biodiversity.

The DEVOTES project is made up of more than 250 scientists in 23 research centres from 12 European Union countries (as well as Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the USA).  This is a four year project, with a total budget of €12m, co-ordinated by the Spanish technological centre AZTI-Tecnalia. It will explore how marine biodiversity is measured and how these measures may be used to assess Good Environmental Status (GES). This will result in cutting-edge tools for characterising regional seas and determining whether GES for biodiversity is being achieved within Europe. Within the project PML aims to address key questions regarding the state of biological diversity and its relationship to food-webs, seafloor integrity, human impacts and climate change.

PML will study multiple human pressures on marine biodiversity, the adequacy of monitoring and the challenges of comparing against a shifting baseline due to climate change. PML is also leading investigations to determine the socio-economic implications of maintaining or changing current monitoring/management practices (which are focused on achieving and maintaining GES).

The aim is to support the development of cost-effective systems in monitoring and management strategies. Using existing biodiversity indicators collected through field work and by using satellites, PML scientists will be able to analyse the coverage, strengths, weaknesses and data requirements in the four European regional seas and then go on to develop and test new ones. The aim is to develop innovative monitoring systems (for example using remote sensing) with a balanced suite of indicators of biodiversity that is ecologically relevant and responsive to pressures in European regional seas. This will refine and deepen our ability to monitor the status of marine biodiversity and comply with European

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