Report 560
Conceptual Ecological Modelling of Sublittoral Rock Habitats to Inform Indicator Selection
(2015)
Alexander, D., Coates, D. A., Tillin, H. & Tyler-Walters, H.
In order to manage the marine environment effectively, it is necessary for decision makers to have access to suitable tools for identifying the state of marine biodiversity, and where a change in state occurs, to identify possible manageable causes. The use of indicators provides one such method, as a proxy for ecological status.
 

Introduction

The purpose of this study is to produce a series of Conceptual Ecological Models (CEMs) that represent sublittoral rock habitats in the UK. CEMs are diagrammatic representations of the influences and processes that occur within an ecosystem. They can be used to identify critical aspects of an ecosystem that may be studied further, or serve as the basis for the selection of indicators for environmental monitoring purposes. The models produced by this project are control diagrams, representing the unimpacted state of the environment free from anthropogenic pressures.

It is intended that the models produced by this project will be used to guide indicator selection for the monitoring of this habitat in UK waters. CEMs may eventually be produced for a range of habitat types defined under the UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring R&D Programme (UKMBMP), which, along with stressor models, are designed to show the interactions within impacted habitats, would form the basis of a robust method for indicator selection. This project builds on the work to develop CEMs for shallow sublittoral coarse sediment habitats (Alexander et al 2014).

 
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ISSN 0963-8091
 
Please cite as: Alexander, D., Coates, D. A., Tillin, H. & Tyler-Walters, H., (2015), Conceptual Ecological Modelling of Sublittoral Rock Habitats to Inform Indicator Selection, JNCC Report 560, ISSN 0963-8091