– the hard substrate,
– the soft substrate of coastal areas,
– the soft substrate of lagoons,
– and the pelagial,
using a standardized methodology for:
– the sampling in the field,
– and data handling.
The first results have been analyzed in a joint effort and has led to several publications so far.
At the final meeting of the EMBOS Action (Helgoland, September 2015), members expressed their willingness to continue the sustained observation on a voluntary basis and using their own resources: EMBOS+ was born.
EMBOS+ demonstrates the feasibility of a network approach to study marine biodiversity of coastal areas at a pan-European scale. By using the same methodology, a direct comparison of large scale and long term comparison of patterns and changes in marine biodiversity of the different habitats becomes feasible (as demonstrated by the first publications).
Combined with the qualification of different human impacts of the sites and habitats, the data can be used to establish baselines of ‘natural’ developments of marine biodiversity, and to assess human impacts.
Furthermore the use of the standardized methodology will facilitate direct comparison of the status (GES) and development (evolution) of marine biodiversity at several spatiotemporal scales and will be an asset to the MSFD.
EMBOS+ is looking for funds to maintain the sustained observation of marine biodiversity of coast areas at a pan-European scale, and to analyze the results. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the MSFD in the future.