Ecosystem Services Sustainability in the Mediterranean Sea: Assessment of Status and Trends Using Multiple Modelling Approaches
AUTHORS: Camino Liquete, Chiara Piroddi, Diego Macías, Jean-Noël Druon and Grazia Zulian ABSTRACT: Mediterranean ecosystems support important processes and functions that bring direct benefits to human society. Yet, marine ecosystem services are usually overlooked due to the challenges in identifying and quantifying them. This paper proposes the application of several biophysical and ecosystem modelling approaches to assess spatially and temporally the sustainable use and supply of selected marine ecosystem services. Such services include food provision, water purification, coastal protection, lifecycle maintenance and recreation, focusing on the Mediterranean region. Overall, our study found a higher number of decreasing than increasing trends in the natural capacity of the ecosystems to provide marine and coastal services, while in contrast the opposite was observed to be true for the realised flow of services to humans. Such a study paves the way towards an effective support for Blue Growth and the European maritime policies, although little attention is paid to the quantification of marine ecosystem services in this context. We identify a key challenge of integrating biophysical and socio-economic models as a necessary step to further this research. Published in Scientific Reports, 30 September 2016.
17 Oct 2019