Report of the Workshop to develop recommendations for potentially useful Food Web Indicators (WKFooWI)
Description not yet available.This workshop brought together international experts in food webs, marine ecology, and management, to identify appropriate Food Web Indicators. The work contributed to ongoing requirements in Europe, North America and elsewhere to manage marine ecosystems in a holistic manner. The workshop built on progress already made to support Descriptor 4 (Food Webs) through a joint JRC/ DG ENV task force, and guidance from the European Commission on provisional guidelines for setting targets and defining indicators. The workshop applied standard evaluation criteria to progress the (i) identification and evaluation of practical food web indicators (FooWIs) ready for operational use, and (ii) identification of FooWIs that hold reasonable promise in the near- to medium term future but that require further development. It was recognized that structure and functioning of food webs were the major attributes for which indicators were required, following earlier guidance by the Commission. In addition, WKFooWI emphasized that resilience of food webs was a key aspect of ecosystem behaviour and environmental status and so was treated as an additional attribute. Over 60 potential food web indicators were evaluated in these three categories. WKFooWI concluded that in the short term for the specific Descriptor 4 context, indicators on; the primary production required to sustain a fishery, the productivity of seabirds (or similar charismatic megafauna), zooplankton indicators based on community biomass, size structure and productivity, integrated trophic indicators (including e.g. mean trophic level, mean size, etc), and the biomass of trophic guilds, should be considered for application at a Regional Seas scale. Suggestions were also made for areas for further development in the medium-term future (i.e. 2–3 years). It was emphasized that more efforts should be made to encourage a greater level of integration in the development of indicators elsewhere in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Re-gional Seas Conventions, in order to encourage more coherence at a regional seas scale.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee