International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
WGBIODIV 2016_Full report.pdf (1.4 MB)

Interim Report of the Working Group on Biodiversity Science (WGBIODIV)

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posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The Working Group on Biodiversity Science (WGBIODIV) met at AZTI-Tecnalia, San Sebastian, Spain, 8–12 February 2016. The meeting was chaired by Nik Probst and Oscar Bos and attended by 15 scientists from seven countries. This meeting was the first one of the new 3-year cycle (2016–2018). The overall aim of WGBIODIV for this period is to de-velop a number of operational indicators on the level of faunal communities (i.e. plank-ton, benthos and fish), which can be used to assess the state of biodiversity in the context of environmental assessments for the regional sea conventions OSPAR and HELCOM as well as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).Development of new biodiversity indicators is important since the EC is currently revis-ing the decision document 477/2010/EU, which describes the required indicators per MSDF descriptor. Until now biodiversity (MSDF Descriptor 1) was to be described on the level of species (D1.1), habitats (D1.2) and the entire ecosystem (D1.3). The revision of the EU Commission decision may lead to the proposal of additional indicators on the level of ecosystem components (communities), interacting with the ongoing development of OSPAR and HELCOM biodiversity indicators.The focus of this year’s work was directed towards the development of theoretical con-cepts, which should be used as scientific foundation for new biodiversity indicators. WGBIODIV presents a generic protocol how to develop community indicators based on ecological concepts and introduces several practical examples. The future work of WGBIODIV will build on these theoretical fundaments to develop new indicators of bio-diversity for plankton, benthos and fish communities.Inspirations for new indicator approaches were obtained during plenary discussions and presentations by group members. These presentations included results of ongoing PhD thesis and outcomes of large EU research projects such as DEVOTES helping to shape the approaches to be taken. Presentations on indicator concepts or indicator related projects from the WG meeting are summarized in this report.


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