Pelagic habitat: exploring the concept of good environmental status

Type Article
Date 2017-11
Language English
Author(s) Dickey-Collas Mark1, 2, McQuatters-Gollop Abigail3, Bresnan Eileen4, Kraberg Alexandra C.5, Manderson John P.6, 7, Nash Richard D. M.8, Otto Saskia A.9, Sell Anne F.10, Tweddle Jacqueline F.11, Trenkel VerenaORCID12
Affiliation(s) 1 : Int Council Explorat Sea, HC Andersens Blvd 44-46, DK-1553 Copenhagen, Denmark.
2 : Tech Univ Denmark DTU, DTU Aqua Natl Inst Aquat Resources, Kemitorvet 1, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark.
3 : Plymouth Univ, Ctr Marine Conservat & Policy, Plymouth PL4 8AA, Devon, England.
4 : Marine Lab, Marine Scotland Sci, 375 Victoria Rd, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, Scotland.
5 : Alfred Wegener Inst, Helmholtz Zentrum Polar & Meeresforsch, Biol Anstalt Helgoland, POB 180, D-27483 Helgoland, Germany.
6 : NOAA, North East Fisheries Sci Ctr, Oceans & Climate Program, 74 Magruder Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732 USA.
7 : NOAA, North East Fisheries Sci Ctr, Cooperat Res Program, 74 Magruder Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732 USA.
8 : Inst Marine Res, PB,1870 Nordnes, N-5817 Bergen, Norway.
9 : Hamburg Univ, Ctr Earth Syst Res & Sustainabil, Inst Hydrobiol & Fisheries Sci, Grosse Elbstr 133, D-22767 Hamburg, Germany.
10 : Thunen Inst Sea Fisheries, Palmaille 9, D-22767 Hamburg, Germany.
11 : Univ Aberdeen, Sch Biol Sci, Zool Bldg,Tillydrone Ave, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, Scotland.
12 : IFREMER, Rue Ile Yeu,BP 21105, F-44311 Nantes, France.
Source Ices Journal Of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford Univ Press), 2017-11 , Vol. 74 , N. 9 , P. 2333-2341
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsx158
WOS© Times Cited 14
Keyword(s) marine strategy framework directive, MPA, pelagic habitats, plankton, seascape
Abstract Marine environmental legislation is increasingly expressing a need to consider the quality of pelagic habitats. This paper uses the European Union marine strategy framework to explore the concept of good environmental status (GES) of pelagic habitat with the aim to build a wider understanding of the issue. Pelagic ecosystems have static, persistent and ephemeral features, with manageable human activities primarily impacting the persistent features. The paper explores defining the meaning of "good", setting boundaries to assess pelagic habitat and the challenges of considering habitat biodiversity in a moving medium. It concludes that for pelagic habitats to be in GES and able to provide goods and services to humans, three conditions should be met: (i) all species present under current environmental conditions should be able to find the pelagic habitats essential to close their life cycles; (ii) biogeochemical regulation is maintained at normal levels; (iii) critical physical dynamics and movements of biota and water masses at multiple scales are not obstructed. Reference points for acceptable levels of each condition and how these may change over time in line with prevailing oceanographic conditions, should be discussed by knowledge brokers, managers and stakeholders. Managers should think about a habitat hydrography rather than a habitat geography. Setting the bounds of the habitats requires a consideration of dimension, scale and gradients. It is likely that to deal with the challenges caused by a dynamic environment and the relevance of differing spatial and temporal scales, we will need to integrate multidisciplinary empirical data sets with spatial and temporal models to assess and monitor progress towards, or displacement from GES of the pelagic habitat.
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Dickey-Collas Mark, McQuatters-Gollop Abigail, Bresnan Eileen, Kraberg Alexandra C., Manderson John P., Nash Richard D. M., Otto Saskia A., Sell Anne F., Tweddle Jacqueline F., Trenkel Verena (2017). Pelagic habitat: exploring the concept of good environmental status. Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 74(9), 2333-2341. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :