Interim Report of the ICES/HELCOM Working Group on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB): 18-22 April 2016 Helsinki, Finland
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
The ICES/HELCOM Working Group on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB) meeting was held in Helsinki (Finland), 18-22 April 2016. The meeting was attended by 26 participants from five countries and chaired by Laura Uusitalo, Fin-land, Saskia Otto, Germany, Martin Lindegren, Denmark, and Lena Bergström, Swe-den. This was the first year of the new three-year Terms of Reference (ToR) for WGIAB. The main working activities in 2016 were to A) develop the trait-based ap-proach of understanding the ecosystem function, and B) explore the social-ecological system, including indicator development, revising the conceptual model, and devel-oping case studies. As a primary outcome of the ToR A, we built on our previous work on integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) in the Baltic Sea, but extended it beyond considering changes in abundances of a few dominant species, to accounting for community-wide changes in a number of key traits across multiple trophic levels. These traits represent various ecosystem functions upon which we derive important ecosystem services. By investigating temporal changes in the community weighted mean traits of phyto-plankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos, and fish, we demonstrated whether trait reor-ganizations at the level of entire communities occurred in the Central Baltic Sea as a result of the 1980s regime shift. Using in total 29 traits combined for all groups we found indications of two breakpoints across all four taxonomic groups over the last decades, i.e. one around 1990 and one around 2000. Further work will focus on ex-ploring the nature of the changes in trait composition and on standardizing the num-ber of traits and data types (i.e. binary, continuous or categorical) across taxonomic group.In addition, we collected data on key functional groups and abiotic variables in all main sub-basins of the Baltic Sea, setting the stage for a cross-regional comparison of temporal patterns and trends in lower trophic level in the face of recent develop-ments in climate-related drivers.With reference to Tor B, to explore how social indicators could be used in parallel with biological indicators in an integrated assessment framework, we developed a conceptual model of interrelationships between ecosystem and society. We used the model as a basis for mapping factors to be accounted for in the ecosystem-based management using the Baltic salmon and clupeid species as case studies. The models depict 1) the structure of the foodweb relevant to the target species, 2) the key com-munity level and population traits that contribute to the state of the species, 3) main pressures affecting the foodweb and their effects on the species, 4) key management measures, and 5) benefits that the species can produce for society.To support the development of Ecosystem Overview the group members evaluated the probability of occurrence and the magnitude of the effect of 15 pressures occur-ring in the Baltic Sea. The top five pressures identified were input of nutrients, in-creased temperature, decreased salinity, input of hazardous substances, and input or spread of non-indigenous species.The work will continue intersessionally and the next meeting of WGIAB is planned to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, back-to-back with WGCOMEDA and WGEAWESS.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) , 2016. , 27 p.
Research subject Natural sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-12863DiVA: diva2:957491