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Marine Biological Valuation in the physically stressed environment: the Lithuanian case study SERGEJ OLENIN Marine Biological Valuation in the physically.

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Presentation on theme: "Marine Biological Valuation in the physically stressed environment: the Lithuanian case study SERGEJ OLENIN Marine Biological Valuation in the physically."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marine Biological Valuation in the physically stressed environment: the Lithuanian case study SERGEJ OLENIN Marine Biological Valuation in the physically stressed environment: the Lithuanian case study SERGEJ OLENIN Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University, Lithuania Expert Workshop on Marine Biological Valuation Marine Biology Section, University of Ghent December 2-4, 2004

2 Lithuanian coastal environment Klaipėda

3 Very exposed, unsheltered coast 92 km of sandy beaches and dunes. Straight coastline, no islands and inlets. Wave fetch > 200 km in NW, W, SW directions, wave height up to 8m. Active hydrodynamic, strong near-shore currents, coastal erosion. Macrofauna and benthic vegetation are under the blasting effect of sand and gravel.

4 In the middle of the Baltic salinity gradient Low species diversity (“Artenminimum” zone): 50 species of bottom macrofauna, 36 species of benthic macroalgae

5 Intensive anthropogenic activity Klaipeda port, 4 th largest port in the Baltic Sea (cargo turnover 20 mln tons/yr). Two Lithuanian Oil terminals (10-14 mln tons/yr), Russian Oil drilling platform (D6). Klaipeda city (200, 000 citizens). Large recreational zones Recreational zones Butinge Oil Terminal, buoy 7 km offshore Klaipeda Oil Terminal Russian (Kaliningrad) Oil drilling platform

6 Environmental problems and level of their management LOCAL (National or municipal level) – –Dredge spoil damping, – –Overfishing. REGIONAL (Baltic Sea scale, e.g. HELCOM level) – –Eutrophication, – –Chemical contamination, – –Oil pollution, – –Invasion of alien species. GLOBAL – –Sea level rise, – –Increase in number of storm events, – –Global warming (Sources: Olenin 1999; Olenina & Olenin 2002)

7 Coastal protected areas Two coastal protected areas, established in 1992; both comprise marine parts: a 2 nm wide stripe along the coastline. The marine parts were included without thorough investigation (“political need”). New demands: – –1) coastal typology and designation of reference conditions (EU Water Framework Directive), – –2) establishment of NATURA-2000 marine sites. Seaside Regional Park Curonian Spit National Park

8 Use of biotope approach for coastal typology and valuation of marine life

9 A distinctive sea bottom area with conventionally uniform physical-chemical environment (salinity, substrate, hydrodynamics, light climate, temperature regime, etc.) and matching biological features. The physical 'habitat' with its biological 'community‘. The “biotope” notion is considered as a synonym of “habitat” in some legislative acts, directives and conventions for the convenience of interpretation. What is a benthic biotope ? (contemporary definition) (Sources: Connor et al, 1993; MarLIN 2003; Olenin & Daunys, 2004)

10 K. Möbius: “The Oyster Bank Is a Biocönose, or a Social Community” “Biocenosis” = complex superorganism, plants and animals living together; 1908 – F. Dahl: “Principles and fundamental ideas of the biocenotic research” “Biotope” = a complex of factors, which determine physical conditions of existence of a biocenosis (physical-geographical environment) “the biotope of the biocenosis”; 1935 – A. Tansley: “The use and abuse of vegetation concepts and terms” “Ecosystem” = combination of climatic conditions, soil complex and biotic community; Since 1940s: “Ecosystem=Biocenosis + Biotope” (in German, French, Russian, Polish and other “continental” literature) History of the term “biotope” (Sources: Olenin 2003; Olenin & Ducrotoy in prep.)

11 Marine biotope classification systems HELCOM, Red list of Red list of Marine and Coastal Biotopes and Biotope Complexes of the Baltic Sea. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings, No.75: Connor et al., 1997: Marine Nature Conservation Review: marine biotope classification for Britain and Ireland. Volume 1. Littoral biotopes. Volume 2. Sublittoral biotopes. Version Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, JNCC Reports, No. 229 and No EUNIS, 2004: European Nature Information System. European Environment Agency. (download ).

12 Benthic biotope classification procedure (relevance to coastal typology and biological valuation) Justification of ecological relevance by the analysis of matching between physical and biological features Inventory of physical factors shaping benthic environment (salinity, substratum, depth, wave exposure…) Inventory of biological features characterizing biotopes (conspicuous species, coverage of dominant forms, visible biogenic signs, community structure) Mapping and description of biotopes Development of the biotope classification system

13 Benthic biotope classification procedure (relevance to coastal typology and biological valuation) Mapping and description of biotopes Identification of coastal types as complexes of neighboring interrelated biotopes (biotope complexes) Development of coastal typology Biological valuation and designation of MPAs

14 Underwater surveys, Description of sea bottom and sampling by SCUBA divers Remote underwater video survey Sampling of bottom macro fauna using a Van Veen grab

15 Paper (pdf) available at:

16 Biotope as integration of different ecological criteria DiversityDiversity –alfa - diversity within biotope, –beta – diversity among biotopes, –gamma – diversity of biotope complexes (coastal types) Dependency Dependency –Presence of habitat engineers and keystone species (e.g. Zostera, Fucus, Furcellaria or Mytilus, Ostrea) IntegrityIntegrity –Measure of degradation of biotopes –Functional importance –Functional interrelations between the biotopes

17 Biotopes as functional units of coastal marine ecosystems Physico-chemical conditions of a habitat determine diversity of species, as well as functional diversity, “allowing” presence of certain functional groups and “restricting” (or “forbidding”) existence of others. – –Examples: a) active biosedimentation is possible only on large boulders below the breakers zone; b) production of macroalgae – only within euphotic zone on large stones; c) herring spawning – on stony bottoms with macroalgae. The biotopes differ not only in their appearance ( exterior) but also in their functions, which they perform in coastal marine ecosystems.

18 3D scheme of benthic biotopes at the Seaside Regional Park

19 Biotopes as mapping units

20 Depression in the uppermost part of the submarine slope with floating algae mats

21 Mobil sands with burrowing amphipods and mysid shrimps

22 Large boulders with filamentous green macroalgae

23 Stony bottoms with the red algae Furcellaria lumbricalis

24 Stony bottoms with the blue mussel Mytilus edulis

25 Soft bottoms with the bivalve Macoma baltica and polychaetes Pygospio elegans, Hediste diversicolor

26 Primary production of macroalgae

27 Formation and accumulation of detritus

28 Active biosedimentation (suspension feeding)

29 Utilization of detritus from the surface of bottom sediments and bioturbation

30 Ecological integrity criteria: assessment of functional importance of biotopes Biotopes Functions Spawning ground Foraging area for fish, birds Shelter for fish fry Support for high species diversity Stony bottoms with Furcellaria 2122 Stony bottoms with Mytilus 0212 Mobil sands with Bathyporeia 0110 Soft bottoms in aphotic zone – not relevant, 1 – present, 2 - important

31 Conclusion The biotope integrates several important ecological criteria used for biological valuation. Biotope is a convenient unit which may be used for the coastal typology and coastal types may be identified as the complexes of interrelated neighboring biotopes. National and international biotope classification systems are being developed for the coastal zones of Europe. This may provide a solid background for a scientifically acceptable and widely applicable valuation strategy.

32 Extras

33 Furcellaria lumbricalis

34 Furcellaria lumbricalis: Biotope under change (Data: Blinova & Tolstikova, 1972)(Data: Olenin & Labanauskas, 1994)

35 Būtingė Oil Terminal Oil tank facilities on land connected by a 7,5 km long pipeline with the offshore buoy (depth ca. 20 m)Oil tank facilities on land connected by a 7,5 km long pipeline with the offshore buoy (depth ca. 20 m) 10 mln tons of oil products in 2003 (Ventspils – 28 mln tons)10 mln tons of oil products in 2003 (Ventspils – 28 mln tons)

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37 [ ] - <5 species [ ] - >10 species [ ] - >15 species Spices richness of bottom macrofauna

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