English Channel process-driven seafloor habitat sensitivity

Date(s) (Publication)
Author(s): , ,
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER
Publisher(s): IFREMER
Credit IFREMER
DOI 10.12770/eba76470-7dd5-4984-bfa8-c9df6a69276b
Abstract Process-driven seafloor habitat sensitivity (PDS) has been defined from the method developed by Kostylev and Hannah (2007), which takes into account physical disturbances and food availability as structuring factors for benthic communities. It is a conceptual model, relating species’ life history traits to environmental properties. Physical environment maps have been converted into a map of benthic habitat types, each supporting species communities with specific sensitivity to human pressures. It is based on two axes of selected environmental forces.
The "Disturbance" (Dist) axis reflects the magnitude of change (destruction) of habitats (i.e. the stability through time of habitats), only due to natural processes influencing the seabed and which are responsible for the selection of life history traits. The "Scope for Growth" (SfG) axis takes into account environmental stresses inducing a physiological cost to organisms and limiting their growth and reproduction potential. This axis estimates the remaining energy available for growth and reproduction of a species (the energy spent on adapting itself to the environment being already taken into account). It can be related to the metabolic theory of the ecology.
The process-driven sensitivity (PDS) can be seen as a risk map that combines the two previous axes and reflects the main ecological characteristics of the benthic habitats regarding natural processes. Areas with low disturbance are areas with a naturally low reworking of the sediment, allowing the establishment of a rich sessile epifauna community, with K-strategy species. Areas with low SfG means that the environmental factors, even though there are not limiting, are in lower values, i.e. that it imposes a cost for species to live. In areas combining low disturbance and low SfG, big suspension-feeder species with long life and slow growth can often be found: these species are more vulnerable in case of added disturbance.

Details may be found in Foveau A, Vaz S, Desroy N, Kostylev VE (2017) Process-driven and biological characterisation and mapping of seabed habitats sensitive to trawling. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0184486. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184486
Keywords benthic sensitivity
Lineage The intensity of friction was computed by combining:
- depth: data issued from the CHARM project, i.e. that depth is presented as bathymetry (derived from SHOM navigation charts, transformed in raster of 1 km spatial resolution) plus mean sea level (issued from MARD 3D hydrodynamic model, also transformed in raster of 1 km spatial resolution);
- waves: data coming from NORGAS model and compiled from year 2007 to 2009. The model has a resolution of 2’, i.e. 3.5 km. Temporal resolution is 3 hours.
Utilisation Exclusive right granted by law for a specified period of time.
Temporal Extent 1998-01-01 - 2014-12-31