WP1 – Human Pressures and Climate Change

WP1 will determine the relative contribution of human pressures to the status/changes of biodiversity, our current understanding and monitoring adequacy, as well as any challenges of shifting baselines of climatic change.

Specific objectives:

1) defining and deriving mechanisms and tools to evaluate the effects of managed and unmanaged pressures on biodiversity, together with the effects of climate change by using metadata analysis to identify gaps in monitoring systems related to pressures and climate change; by creating generic/regional sea-specific matrices of pressure-impact links and variations in biodiversity both to give the background for further study and test our understanding;

2) providing the basis to assess biodiversity responses to anthropogenic pressures and the monitoring being undertaken together with the lessons learned from this by cataloguing and critically reviewing monitoring networks and pressure-related monitoring undertaken by the Regional Seas Conventions and Member States;

3) characterizing the impacts of present and future pressures, according to their potential effects on the structure and functioning of the ecosystem and then relate these aspects to existing and proposed criteria for defining Good Environmental Status for the descriptors, especially those specifically studied here (biodiversity, food-webs and seafloor integrity) and on the relationship between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.

Main outputs: i) a determination of the relative contribution of human pressures to the status / changes of biodiversity against shifting baselines of climatic change and applicable across the MS and RSC; ii) a review of cumulative, synergistic and antagonistic effects of the pressures which, together with variations due to climate change can affect marine biodiversity; iii) a further understanding of the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and a critical analysis of existing monitoring and recommendations for the future.


This work package is led by  Mike Elliott (University of Hull)