Atlas Deliverable 5.1 - Inventory of Ecosystem Services


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The document provides an inventory of deep-sea ecosystem services (as well as their Blue Growth potential) in various locations of the North Atlantic. The inventory represents a Deliverable of the ATLAS project that aims to understand the complexity of deep-sea ecosystems. The project develops a scientific knowledge base to support sustainable management of deep-sea resources in the Atlantic, and contributes to the European Commission's Blue Growth objective.

Sea Basin(s): 
January 2018
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Scientific Research
Type of Issue: 
Economic aspects
Ecosystem-based approach
Environment aspects
Resilience to climate change
Social aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
Coherence with other processes: 
Habitats and Birds Directive
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Questions this practice may help answer: 

  • What frameworks are used in the ATLAS project to evaluate ecosystem services? 
  • What ecosystem services are identified in the deep sea of the North Atlantic?  
  • What is the Blue Growth potential of these ecosystem services? 

Implementation Context: 

The document represents a Deliverable of the ATLAS Project that aims to improve understanding of the deep-sea ecosystems in the North Atlantic, as well as to predict their future change and vulnerability in the face of ongoing climate change. 

Aspects / Objectives: 

To provide an inventory of ecosystem services found in the network of 12 ATLAS case study areas spanning the Atlantic, along with Blue Growth potential in these areas.


Two frameworks are used to catalogue the ecosystem services: the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UN Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) framework.  

Main Outputs / Results: 

The document provides a comprehensive inventory of the deep-sea ecosystem services (i.e. regulation of carbon sequestration, support of nutrient cycling, supply of pharmaceuticals etc.) that still remain underexplored. 


The methodology applied in the inventory can also be used in evaluation of deep-sea ecosystem services in other regions.  

Responsible Entity: 

ATLAS Project Office 

University of Edinburgh 

King's Buildings 

James Hutton Rd 


Funding Source: 

ATLAS is a project funded within the framework of the European program H2020 3.5 (Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials), and H2020 3.2 (Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy).  

Contact person: 


J Murray Roberts