Skov, H.2; Andersen, Jesper3; Vinther, M.2; Meeren, G. v. d.2; Moksnes, P. O.2
1 Department of Bioscience - Applied Marine Ecology and Modelling, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 unknown3 Department of Bioscience - Applied Marine Ecology and Modelling, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
As one of the milestones in the HARMONY-project a demonstration of the application of the integrative indicator based biodiversity assessment tool (BEAT) was undertaken for the Greater North Sea sub-region across a range of coastal and offshore areas. The first version of the BEAT tool was applied in the Baltic Sea, and was only to a limited extent including indicators and data reflecting the status of fish, seabirds and marine mammal populations. The BEAT assessment for the Greater North Sea included these components as well as assessments of benthic communities, marine landscapes and supporting features, and provided a promising first step towards widening the spectrum of available marine biodiversity indicators within EU offshore areas and developing a fully integrative indicatorbased assessment matrix on biodiversity under the GES framework. The strengths of the BEAT approach include the flexibility of the size of assessment units as well as the potential to compare ecologically widely different areas with each other through the assessed status. The main weaknesses are the inherent assumption that the overall status of biodiversity can be defined by fixed values of a set of indicators, the lack of a rigorous statistical approach and a balanced representation of different ecosystem components/food web categories.