Working Group on Observatory Sites

Aim: (re-)evaluation of Marine Observatories

The Action started with a re-evaluation of the results of the BIOMARE and MarBEF projects that have resulted in an overview of marine biodiversity observatory sites for Europe (Warwick, Emblow, Féral, Hummel, van Avesaath, Heip, 2002. European Marine Biodiversity Research Sites).

EMBOS started with a collation of information on observatory sites obtained in BIOMARE and MarBEF and assessing to what degree they can meet the criteria selected in the Action, including the naturalness of the sites, representativeness for, and array of, the surrounding habitats, conservation status, available (experimental, accommodation, training) facilities, and commitment expressed by the observatory management.

A questionnaire has been sent to the partners of the Action and the (former) members of MarBEF and BIOMARE to retrieve an update on the present status of the monitoring activities, available data, and commitment.

The activity will lead to the establishment of a network of European Marine Biodiversity Observatory Sites with:

1) Reference Sites for certain geographical regions with low human impact that can serve as a reference (baseline) for natural evolvement of marine biodiversity, and

2) a number of related Satellite Sites with a gradient in direct human impacts but that are within the recognised geographic regions related to the reference station(s).