Report 589A
Marine Rocky Habitat Ecological Groups and their Sensitivity to Pressures Associated with Human Activities
(2016)
Maher, E. & Alexander, D.
This report represents Phase 1 of this JNCC-commissioned project and focuses upon the recommendation and rationale of ecological groups based upon species characteristics previously defined by Tillin and Tyler-Waters (2013) and Alexander et al (2015).
 

Introduction

 

Seabed habitats are under pressure from numerous and varied anthropogenic activities. Understanding the sensitivity of sublittoral and circalittoral rock habitats is crucial for effective management of the marine environment, and decision makers need to have access to suitable tools for identifying the state of marine biodiversity and habitats.

The sensitivity of ecological groups in marine sedimentary habitats has been previously assessed by Tillin and Tyler-Walters (2013) but as yet, the sensitivity of ecological groups in rocky habitats has not been examined. This project aims to identify ecologically similar groups of species based on trait characteristics within the sublittoral rock habitat. Alexander et al (2015) previously developed conceptual ecological models (CEMs) using ecological groups made up of characterising species for sublittoral rock habitats; the scope of this project is to reconsider and supplement the evidence gathered during that project to categorise the species present in the context of assessing sensitivity.
 

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Please cite as: Maher, E. & Alexander, D., (2016), Marine Rocky Habitat Ecological Groups and their Sensitivity to Pressures Associated with Human Activities, JNCC Report 589A