Title: The NW Mediterranean Coastal Ecological Province from Satellite and Model Data
Authors: BARALE VittorioSTIPS AdolfHOEPFFNER Nicolas
Citation: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment - MEDCOAST 09 vol. 2 p. 1083-1094
Publisher: MEDCOAST Secretariat, Middle East Technical University
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC55128
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC55128
Type: Contributions to Conferences
Abstract: An ecosystem approach to Maritime Spatial Planning is required for the safeguard of ecological services in near-coastal zones. The selection of suitable geographical units, where this approach should be taken, requires the assessment of ecological provinces, characterized by a coherent set of environmental traits. On the sea side of the coast, where the interaction between atmosphere, land and sea is not bounded by evident geographic markers, the application of remote sensing and modelling can be exploited to characterize the status and trends of marine ecosystems, starting with the recognition of near-coastal eco-regions. Climatological maps derived from satellite observations and model simulations were used to assess the space-time heterogeneity of atmospheric forcing, vertical mixing and algal blooming of the Ligurian-Provençal Sea, in the north-western Mediterranean basin, over 10 consecutive annual cycles (1997¿2007). The ecosystem response to changing seasonal conditions was traced in the Gulf of Lion (40.5¿42.5°N, 3.5¿7.5°E), where wind forcing causes deep convective processes and consequent nutrient upwelling in the water column. The lag between forcing and blooming shows that the biological response of the ecosystem is not instantaneous, after the set up of conditions favourable to algal growth, and that the it depends on the pre-conditioning fostered by a prolongued period of vertical mixing.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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