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Lopez y Royo C.,University of Corsica | Lopez y Royo C.,Agency for Environmental Protection and TS | Casazza G.,Agency for Environmental Protection and TS | Pergent-Martini C.,Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas | Pergent G.,University of Corsica
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2010

The development of ecologically based indices that respond to disturbances in a predictable manner has been stressed by the EU Water Framework Directive. The seagrass Posidonia oceanica, given its ecological indicator characteristics, has been identified as one of the elements to determine ecological status under the EU Water Framework Directive. The purpose of this study is therefore to develop a biotic index based on P. oceanica (BiPo), focussing on: (i) the necessity of an index that may be applied over the largest geographical extent possible, (ii) the necessity of a tool for a baseline evaluation of P. oceanica status in the Mediterranean, (iii) the compliance with WFD requirements, (iv) the efficiency of the method in terms of reliability and cost. The BiPo index is developed on the basis of all P. oceanica monitoring data available in the western Mediterranean and on a standard assessment of anthropogenic pressures. The index metrics are selected and evaluated on the basis of this pressures assessment, and are subsequently integrated for the evaluation of ecological status. The index is then tested on 15 sites around Corsica (France). The results show that the BiPo well reflects meadow health status and ecological status. Furthermore it is reliable, standard and cost-effective, and can be applied to a wide array of management and conservation purposes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lopez Y Royo C.,Agency for Environmental Protection and TS | Lopez Y Royo C.,University of Corsica | Pergent G.,University of Corsica | Pergent-Martini C.,Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas | Casazza G.,Agency for Environmental Protection and TS
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2010

The seagrass Posidonia oceanica is extensively monitored in Mediterranean coastal waters and is an ideal candidate for an eco-regional assessment of the coastal ecosystem. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential of P. oceanica as eco-regional indicator for its assessment at the scale of Mediterranean basin. For this purpose, regional and national P. oceanica monitoring programmes are identified, and their data and metadata are collected and compared in terms of objectives, strategies, sampling designs and sampling methods. The analysis identifies a number of issues concerning data quality, reliability and comparability. In particular, the adoption of different sampling designs and methods may introduce relevant errors when comparing data. The results of this study stress the necessity of carefully planning monitoring programmes. Moreover, it highlights that the adoption of a number of common tools would facilitate all Mediterranean monitoring activities and allows an optimisation of management efforts at an eco-regional scale. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Lopez Y Royo C.,University of Corsica | Lopez Y Royo C.,Agency for Environmental Protection and TS | Pergent G.,University of Corsica | Alcoverro T.,CSIC - Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes | And 6 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2011

The pervasive use of ecological indices is increasingly requiring actions of harmonisation. Specifically, within the EU Water Framework Directive, an important effort in methods intercalibration is being done. However, a significant limitation in comparability assessment arises from the datasets used, which have different geographic origins. The purpose of our study was to perform an experimental intercalibration, where data were collected specifically on a set of common sites and following all the requirements of the methods being assessed. Three indices based on the marine angiosperm Posidonia oceanica, the POMI, the BiPo and the PoSte, were applied to sites in three different geographical areas of the western Mediterranean: Catalonia, Corsica and Southern Italy (Ischia), distant between hundreds and more than thousands of kilometers. Two indices, POMI and BiPo, showed not only a very good relationship with human pressures (measured on a common scale for all sites) but also a high comparability, in all aspects investigated. The differences found for the third one (PoSte) are hypothesised as being due to a different rationale used to define reference conditions, the different metrics used in the index, and in particular to a different definition of ecological status in relation to the time scale of the response to anthropogenic pressures. Our study demonstrates that indices with very different approaches can provide fully reliable and comparable results. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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