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The primary goal of OPEC was to improve the quality of operational services forbiogeochemical and ecological parameters and hence, improve our ability toproject the future status of European marine ecosystems, by delivering a suiteof error quantified indicators which describe changes in ecosystem function suitablefor implementation in operational centers.

In order to advance our understanding andpredictive capacities for the response of marine ecosystems to global change,OPEC employed a combination of numerical simulations, data assimilation ofsatellite and in situ data, observational strategy evaluation and cross-disciplinarysynthesis. The MSFD takes a regional approach to the development of strategiesfor environmental status, identifying four main regions: NE Atlantic, Baltic,Mediterranean and Black Seas. The MSFD also identifies a number of high leveldescriptors of environmental status (e.g. biodiversity, commercial fish,eutrophication, food webs, and invasive species) each of which has a definedset of indicators. Using the regional approach as framework we implemented andtested a suite of indicators in each region. These descriptors along with theECVs provided a framework for the definition of new environmental applications(e.g. habitat for biodiversity, oxygen depletion/eutrophication, fisheries andmarine climate change research).

A common set of descriptors with associatedGES indicators and ECVs were defined across the four regions, to ensure acommonality of approach and the development of a consistent capacity acrossEurope. Auditable quality is essential for GMES environmental applications, andOPEC emphasized the assessment of predictability of key indicators. The R&Dof the project included development of coupled end to end ecosystem models, whereDTU Aqua implemented the coupling between the SMS model for higher trophiclevels and HBM-ERGOM for physics and biogeochemistry.

The project had nine partners from the EU and was coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK.

The project was funded by EU. Framework Programme 7.



  • Research areas: Marine Living Resources & Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics & Ecosystem based Marine Management
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ID: 2290163