WP3 – Indicator testing and development

The ultimate aim of the Work Package 3 is to propose for each regional sea a balanced suite of marine biodiversity indicators, covering biodiversity, food webs, and sea bed integrity. This suite will be consistent, ecologically relevant, and respond to pressures at appropriate scales. The uncertainty related to the indicators will be assessed. Further, the work package will, where possible, provide new means to harmonize indicators and targets across the four regional seas.

To achieve this goal, the project will create a comprehensive catalogue of existing indicators in the European Regional Seas, including their coverage, strengths, weaknesses, and data requirements. Following the groundwork on the activity-pressure-impact links in WP1, gaps in the indicator suite relating to pressure responsiveness, time scales of responses (i.e. availability of early warning indicators for critical biodiversity change) and spatial coverage will be identified.

The gap analysis will lead to investigation of the amount of improvement needed for the existing indicators, with special consideration of the identified impacts and threats. Criteria for indicators capable of detecting early warning signals and tracking recovery will be developed. Subsequently, the existing indicators will be refined, and where necessary new indicators will be developed allowing consistent and harmonized approaches in the regional seas.

Relationship with other WPs:

WP3 is responsible for the review and development of indicators in DEVOTES. For this purpose, it receives information from WP1 about the activity-pressure-impact links of the key processes, and about existing information on the role of biodiversity in ecosystem functioning. WP3 will, in turn, provide information for WPs 2, 4, and 5, by developing new indicators to fill in the gaps in the biodiversity GES assessment. WP3 has close links to WP6 and the results of WP3 will be utilized in the integrative assessment of WP6. The tools developed in WP3 will also be part of the basis for end-user applications developed in WP7.

This work package is co-led by
Anna-Stiina Heiskanen and Laura Uusitalo (SYKE) and Torsten Berg (MariLim)