JNCC Procurement opportunities

Contract title: Development of JNCC Marine Ecosystem Services Optimisation models


Invitation to tender: Reference C18-0355-1268


Growing interest in marine natural capital has highlighted the need to better understand the provision and flow of marine ecosystem services from marine benthic habitats. Knowledge of which organisms exist in a habitat, or the processes performed by those organisms, can be of economic, ecological and cultural value. The impact of extracting resources from the natural capital represented by marine habitats needs to be better understood to promote their sustainable management through conservation advice and protection.

As a proof of concept, JNCC has developed four sublittoral sand models based on a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) modelling approach to predict the probability that ecosystem services will increase or decrease under scenarios of anthropogenic pressures. These were created using VBA in Excel, and have been termed Marine Ecosystem Service Optimisation (MESO) models. The ecological functions, connectivity and flow of processes in each model are underpinned by a Conceptual Ecological Model (CEM) of sublittoral sand (Coates et al., 2016).

Initial proof of concept involved estimating the relationships between the components of the CEM (i.e. BBN nodes) with anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem services. The suite of pressures that arise from oil and gas decommissioning were also estimated and then successfully tested under various stressor scenarios in the MESO model for sublittoral sand. The results showed the probable changes in the provision of ecosystem services as a result of these different scenarios of anthropogenic activities. The results will contribute to JNCC’s recommendations for activities that predict the optimum provision of ecosystem services from sublittoral sand habitats.

This project builds on these initial proof-of-concept MESO models for sublittoral sand habitats to improve confidence in the model relationships as well as increase the usability of the models.


What to do next


Potential bidders are invited to download the following documents and complete the acceptance form of our terms and conditions attached to the invitation to tender (ITT).





  • Date for return of tender : Wednesday 31 October 2018 @ 16:00 hrs
  • Date for award of contract: w/e 16 November 2018
  • Proposed start date: w/c 19/11/2018
  • Proposed end date: 15/03/2019