Modeling of the Potential coverage of habitat-forming species and Development of tools to evaluate the Conservation status of the marine Annex I habitats

image of MOPODECO

MOPODECO has aimed to fill the gaps in harmonisation of the definition of the EU Habitat Directive Annex I habitats and the view on the main pressures and threats to these habitats between the Nordic countries and countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. The project has also aimed to develop standards for describing the functional characteristics of the Annex I habitats, including standards for application of modelling tools for quantifying the coverage of habitat-forming species. In MOPODECO, the harmonised definitions, pressure evaluation matrices, functional descriptors and habitat model application standards are integrated into proposals for unified indicators of favourable conservation status for Annex I habitats in Nordic waters. Common standards for assessing the favourable conservation status of these habitats are suggested by applying these indicators in case studies from the northern and southern parts of the Baltic Sea.



Indicators and tools to assess the favourable conservation status

The aim was to develop simple conceptual models which describe the linkages between pressures and structure and functioning of habitatforming species in different habitats. Moreover, the idea was to give some suggestions for characteristics that could be used as common indicators across the Baltic Sea and Nordic countries. The conceptual models have been made for three Habitats Directive’s Annex I habitats: reefs (1170), sandbanks (1110) and lagoons (1150). The three most relevant pressures were selected: eutrophication, physical disturbance and climate change. Pressures and their main effects have been selected keeping in mind the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Annex III table 2.


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