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

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

A common set of descriptors with associated GES indicators and ECVs were defined across the four regions, to ensure a commonality of approach and the development of a consistent capacity across Europe. Auditable quality is essential for GMES environmental applications, and OPEC emphasized the assessment of predictability of key indicators. The R&D of the project included development of coupled end to end ecosystem models, where DTU Aqua implemented the coupling between the SMS model for higher trophic levels and HBM-ERGOM for physics and biogeochemistry.

The project had nine partners from the EU and was coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK.
StatusCompleted
Period01/01/201231/12/2014

Keywords

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