The practice presents a global synthesis of the work performed in the work package 2 of PERSEUS that was focused on the understanding of pressures and their impacts at costal level in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. This synthesis is mainly based on the results which are described in details in the 4 following project deliverables: D2.5: Response of pelagic ecosystems to coastal pressures in different sub regions of the SES; D2.6: Response of benthic ecosystems to coastal pressures in different sub regions of the SES; D2.7: Impact of pollution (including contaminants, litter and noise) on coastal ecosystems in the SES; D2.8: Impact of NIS on coastal ecosystems in the SES.
Questions this practice may help answer
- Which are the “hot spots” in the Southern European Seas with high anthropogenic pressures?
- What are the general characteristics of the marine sub-regions of the Mediterranean and Black Sea?
- What are the characteristics of the coastal areas subject to study and analysis? (Barcelona - area 1; Mediterranean coastal area of Morocco - area 2; Rhone river and Marseilles areas - areas 3-4; Naples - area 5; Northern Adriatic and Southern Croatia - areas 6, 7; - Gulf of Tunis - area 8; - Saronikos gulf and Athens - areas 9, 10; Haifa Bay - area 11; Sea of Marmara and Istanbul - areas 12, 13; Varna - area 14; - Constanta and Danube mouths - areas 15, 16; - North Western Black Sea - Sevastopol bay - area 17; Gelendzhik Bay - area 18)
- What are the coastal pressures in the studied areas?
- What is the impact of the coastal pressures, which has been studied in PERSEUS?
The overall scientific objectives of PERSEUS project are to identify the interacting patterns of natural and human-derived pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Seas, assess their impact on marine ecosystems and, using the objectives and principles of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as a vehicle, to design an effective and innovative research governance framework based on sound scientific knowledge.
The Assessment of coastal pressures presents a global synthesis of the work performed in Work Package 2 (Pressures and Impacts at coastal level) of PERSEUS that was focused on the understanding of pressures and their impacts at costal level in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. This synthesis is mainly based on the results which are described in details in the 4 following project deliverables:
- Deliverable 2.5: Response of pelagic ecosystems to coastal pressures in different sub regions of the Southern European Seas (SES)
- Deliverable 2.6: Response of benthic ecosystems to coastal pressures in different sub regions of the SES
- Deliverable 2.7: Impact of pollution (including contaminants, litter and noise) on coastal ecosystems in the SES
- Deliverable 2.8: Impact of NIS on coastal ecosystems in the SES A summary of the results obtained from the analysis of very diverse data sets and from the field studies is given and presented by marine sub-region.
Aspects / Objectives
The goals of the studies within Work Package 2 are to identify and evaluate coastal scale patterns of natural and human-made interacting pressures on the SES ecosystem, to study the processes transmitting the pressures to the marine ecosystem, to investigate the interactions among natural and human pressures and to assess their collective impacts on marine ecosystems through field research. The studies better characterise the pressures on the coastal areas (depth of 0 to 200 meters) of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, fill gaps in the knowledge of the processes through which human activities induce changes in marine ecosystems and assess their impact in a holistic manner encompassing socio economic appraisal and analysis.
The studies carried out in PERSEUS on the pressures and impacts at coastal level were focused on the 18 coastal sites shown on Fig. 1 which can be described as "hot spots" because the high level of anthropogenic pressures they face. In PERSEUS work package 2, a broad range of thematic fields were addressed, including the functioning of coastal pelagic and benthic ecosystems and their response to various pressures. Each thematic study was performed on a subset of selected areas. The map below (Fig. 1) shows on which sites various thematic studies have been performed.
An effort was made to coordinate the work between all the study areas in order to get standardized data. The aim was to be able to compare the pressures and their impact in the different areas and to draw out as much as possible a basin wide view of the response of coastal ecosystems to pressures in the SES and of the risks of non achievement of Good Environmental Status (GES).
The Report is structured as follows:
- Presentation of the general characteristics of the marine sub-regions of the Mediterranean and Black Seas (according to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive). The scope of PERSEUS project is the Southern European Seas, i.e. the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. Five marine regions/sub-regions are concerned: - the Western Mediterranean Sea; - the Adriatic Sea; - the Ionian Sea and the Central Mediterranean Sea; - the Aegean-Levantine Sea; - the Black Sea.
- Short description of the 18 coastal study areas:
- Barcelona (area 1)
- Mediterranean coastal area of Morocco (area 2)
- Rhone river and Marseilles areas (areas 3-4)
- Naples (area 5)
- Northern Adriatic and Southern Croatia (areas 6, 7)
- Gulf of Tunis (area 8)
- Saronikos gulf and Athens (areas 9, 10)
- Haifa Bay (area 11)
- Sea of Marmara and Istanbul (areas 12, 13)
- Varna (area 14)
- Constanta and Danube mouths (areas 15, 16)
- North Western Black Sea - Sevastopol bay (area 17)
- Gelendzhik Bay (area 18)
- Summary of the results of the scientific studies performed in PERSEUS coastal study areas:
- Changes in environmental parameters and impacts on plankton
- Food web interactions including fish, jellyfish and interaction with microbial communities
- Response of seagrass meadows to pressures
- Impact of coastal development and urbanization on shallow water habitats
- Analysis of functional community changes in demersal fish aggregation
- Impact of Non Indigenous Species on coastal ecosystems
- Impact of chemical pollution on coastal ecosystems
- Impact of litter on coastal ecosystems
- Impact of noise on coastal ecosystems
The final part of the document presents a synthetic view of the results which are summarized in tables. The tables summarize for 4 sub-regions (WMED, Adriatic, EMED, Black Sea) the results of the impact of the coastal pressures which has been studied in PERSEUS. The classification of pressures given in the tables is based on expert judgement. Colour spots are used to scale the intensity of the impact for each class of pressures.
main Outputs / Results
A report titled “Assessment of coastal pressures in the MSFD sub-regions of the SES. Deliverable Nr. 2.9”. Download it
The practice is fully applicable in other contexts, as it provides a framework and methodology for similar studies and analyses.
Dr. Evangelos Papathanassiou
Coordinator of PERSEUS
Institut Français de Recherche Pour L'exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)
(Leader of Work Package 2)
Costs / Funding Source
Funding Source: FP7-ENVIRONMENT, FP7-OCEAN-2011. Funding scheme: CP-IP-SICA - Large-scale integrating project for specific cooperation actions dedicated to international cooperation partner countries(SICA). Direct costs of this practice elaboration are unknown.