Research & Academia

The EMODnet portal enables free access to marine data, which has been utilized heavily within research and academic institutions. The application of our data and products has been diverse, ranging in geographical scale (from MPA specific to pan-European) and target species and biotopes.

Click on the collapsible headings below to read examples:

 

  • Assessing oil spill sensitivity in unsheltered coastal environments

    Outcomes: Using a pre-existing oil spill simulation, authors were able to map a sensitivity index across the Russian-Lithuanian coastline, and highlight the areas at greatest risk. The study highlighted the importance of harmonised datasets for transboundary oil spill impact assessments.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Users commented that resources were freely available, harmonised and of high resolution, suitable for a transboundary assessment

    Who used it:

    KU-MARSTEC Klaipėda University, Marine Science and Technology Centre

    EMC-MRU – Environmental Management Center, Mykolas Romeris University

    When was it used: 2015

    What product was used: EUSeaMap2  Broad-Scale Habitat Map of the Baltic Sea

    How was the product used: Wave exposure, habitat type and substrate type data held within the attributes table of EUSeaMap, all fed in to the calculations determining the sensitivity index of each coastal segment.

    Abstract available here

  • Predict effects of an invasive polychaete in the Baltic Sea

    Outcomes: Authors were able to quantify the effects of the invasive polychaete Marenzelleria spp on sediment nutrient cycling in the Baltic Sea. The results identified that an overall reduction in the self-cleaning capacity of the basin would create a higher cost to stakeholders to meet international commitments such as the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet data was found to have the best spatial resolution for deep sediments within the area of interest

    Who used it:

    AquabiotaWater Research

    When was it used: 2018

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2012

    How was the product used: The environmental variables influencing habitat type (namely depth, salinity, Secchi depth, energy at the seabed and wave exposure) were used to predict abundance, and therefore biomass of the invasive Marenzelleria spp in the Baltic.   

     

    Abstract available here

  • Investigating the effectiveness of MPA boundaries for low-resilience habitats

    Outcomes: Authors identified that boundaries of successful no-take MPAs may still be zones of high stress for habitat forming species such as maerl. Additionally, authors suggested that MPA designations should re-consider boundaries in areas with low-resilience, key-forming habitat species.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EUSeaMap was the only available source of detailed information on habitat composition and distribution in the North-West Mediterranean

    Who used it:

    Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia (IEO) – The Spanish Institute of Oceanography

    When was it used: 2017

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2016

    How was the product used: Broad-scale predictive habitat maps were used to direct the sampling of the study.

     

    Read more here

  • Quantifying natural capital along the Portuguese continental shelf

    Outcomes: Authors were able to spatially associate areas of high biological value with physical habitat characteristics and assign values to unprotected sites.   

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Habitats were classified according to EUNIS, providing a common and comparable European reference set of habitat types – as well as providing environmental data affecting habitat type within the data layer. 

    Who used it:

    Universidade de AveiroAveiro University

    When was it used: 2018

    What product was used: Broad-scale predictive habitat maps for the Portuguese continental shelf

    How was the product used:  Substrate and biological zone data were selected attributes to be overlaid with maps depicting ‘Biological Value’.

     

    Read more here

  • Ecosystem damage from anthropogenic seabed disturbance: A life cycle impact assessment characterisation model for European Seas

    Outcomes:. Authors were able to quantify indicators of ecosystem damage from disturbance of the seabed, highlighting areas with the longest estimated ecological recovery time. 

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EUNIS classified substrates could be readily transcribed and subcategorized. Additionally, EUSeaMap gave a full coverage of all study sites.

    Who used it:

    NTNUNorwegian University of Science and Technology

    When was it used: Publication due for release in 2019

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2016

    How was the product used:  EUSeaMap was used to define the spatial extent of 16 substrate classes within the study area.

    Abstract available here

  • Using habitat data in the conservation of European red-listed species – A case for the Harbour Porpoise

    Outcomes: Assessors highlighted environmental covariates with the greatest influence on porpoise density distribution models. Resulting distribution maps were then used to propose areas suitable for protection of these marine mammals in Swedish waters.  

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EUSeaMap provided some of the data used in the habitat distribution models

    Who used it:

    SAMBAH ProjectStatic Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise

    When was it used: 2016

    What product was used: GIS layers on environmental parameters

    How was the product used:  Benthic habitat data were fed into habitat models to assess harbour porpoise habitat preferences.

    Read more here

  • Investigating regional variation in the diet of grey seals

    Outcomes:. Authors were able to identify that differences in diet of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) reflect regional differences in physical habitat features.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Sediment and depth data were derived utilising output of the EUSeaMap 2016.  

    Who used it:

    UCCUniversity College Cork 

    When was it usedPublished January 2019

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2016

    How was the product used:  EUSeaMap was used to derive sediment data using the output of the broad-scale predictive model.  The information was then used to characterise seal foraging areas.     

    Read more here

  • Working towards reducing fisheries discards in the Mediterranean

    Outcomes: Researchers were able to produce GIS maps showing the spatial overlap between high discard rate areas and seabed habitats in case study areas of the Mediterranean.  This fed into a wider project, with the overall goal of eliminating discards in European marine fisheries.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Data on seabed habitats were available in all study areas of the project.

    Minouw ProjectMinouw Project

    When was it used: 2017 (part of four year project).

    What product was used: Habitat Maps from the Mapping European Seabed Habitats (MESH) project

    How was the product used: The habitat maps downloaded were used to characterise habitat compositions of various locations across the study area.  This was then used to identify "hotspots" of high discard production.  Data on the potential total discard (PTD) from fisheries were overlaid with seabed habitat maps, identifying habitats where "hotspots" in fisheries discards could be observed.

     

    Read more here

  • Predictive mapping of seabed features within protected areas in Scottish Marine areas

    Outcomes: Authors were able to predictively model the extent of protected Annex I features within Scottish Marine Protected Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protected Areas, where survey data did not exist. 

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Data on physical variables were freely available for the areas of interest.

    Nature ScotScottish Natural Heritage (Nature Scot)

    When was it used: 2017

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2016,  light attenuation, wave and current kinetic energy at seabed.

    How was the product used: Environmental variables that influence habitat type were used as inputs for the three predictive modelling techniques. By identifying relationships between habitats and environmental conditions, a predictive extent and associated confidence in predictions could be mapped. 

     

    Read more here

  • Identifying previously unknown soft coral habitats

    Outcomes:Authors used an Ecological Niche Model to identify previously overlooked areas of the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, as areas containing soft coral habitats. The model could then be used for future surveys to target areas predicting presence of coral habitats and identify new priority conservation areas.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EUSeaMap provided information on the distribution of rocky bottomed habitats across the study area.

    CNRSThe French National Centre for Scientific Research

    When was it used: 2016

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2010

    How was the product used: Data on the locations of rocky-bottomed habitats across the study area were used in combination with other environmental predictors to undertake Ecological Niche Modelling, in order to investigate the distribution of suitable habitat of Paramuricea clavata.  

    Read more here

  • Assessing the impacts of trawling on seabed habitats

    Outcomes: Authors present a framework to assess the impacts of mobile fishing gear on the seabed and benthic ecosystems, the principles of which are applicable to all benthic habitats and trawl fisheries, and can be used across a wide range of spatial scales.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet provided EUNIS Level 3 habitat maps across European waters.

    Wageningen University and ResearchWageningen University and Research

    When was it used: 2015

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2012

    How was the product used: Seabed habitat maps provided a starting point for the impact assessment, combined with information on the physical impacts (e.g. penetration, collision, sediment mobilisation) of trawling on seabed habitats.  This was combined with trawling pressure and ecological impact indicators to assess the impact of trawling on sublittoral mud, sand and coarse sediment habitats and their associated benthos.

     

    Read more here

  • Determining the consequences of seabird habitat loss from the development of offshore wind turbines

    Outcomes:Researchers undertook a comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of Offshore Windfarm (OWF) development on seabird habitats in the North Sea. This study predicted that the development of OWFs in this area was unlikely to cause populations of any of the study species, to decline. 

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Data on sediment types could be derived from habitat data under the EUNIS classification system.  

    Wageningen University and ResearchWageningen University and Research

    When was it used2019

    What product was used: EUSeaMap 2016

    How was the product used: EUNIS habitats from EUSeaMap 2016 were categorised into sediment classes and fed into a habitat suitability model for five North Sea seabird species. Authors could then use the model outputs to calculate a predictive ‘cost’ of habitat loss, in terms of time and/or energy, which could then be used to assess the impact on overall species populations.  

     

    Read more here

  • Development of a pilot 'European seafloor integrity account'

    Outcomes: Authors were able to conceptualise and develop a method for calculating a ‘European Seafloor Integrity Account’ (SIA), linking with the assessment of marine ecosystem services. Assessments could then support Member States and the EU in their 2020 goals on the Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) and the development of accounting systems under Action 5 of Target.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet seabed habitats provided the coverage required for spatial assessments in all EU marine regions, and was also the only EU-level consistent approach for the mapping of broad scale seabed habitats.

    Wageningen University and ResearchWageningen University and Research

    When was it used2018

    What product was used: EU SeaMap 2018

    How was the product used: Habitat maps were used in combination with spatial data layers of fishing intensity and pressure to review the current state of seabed habitats, and to calculate the pilot SIA, which was then tested in the North Sea as 'proof of concept.'

    Read more here

  • Evaluating the impacts of marine renewable energy installations on benthic assemblages

    Outcomes: Researchers were able to assess the impacts of decommissioning marine renewable energy installations (MREI) and provide advice for future decommissioning plans. It was found that the MREI in this area supported similar assemblages to the surrounding habitats, and therefore longer-term monitoring of habitat change were required.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet provided broad-scale habitat data for the study area.

    ICES Journal of Marine ScienceICES Journal of Marine Science

    When was it used2018

    What product was used: EU SeaMap 2016

    How was the product used: Broad-scale habitat data were used to assess the impact scale of cable installations relative to the surrounding environment, through the identification of control areas."Plots" were created using frame grabs from transect footage representing the cable corridor and nearby control habitats, and the number of taxa, assemblage composition and abundance were analysed using per-mutational multivariate analysis of variance. 

    Read more here

  • Redefining the circalittoral zone and its assemblages from the Azores insular shelves through video survey

    Outcomes:Based on the study of morphological species diversity and distribution, authors were able to re-defined the circalittoral zone in the Azores islands.  

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet provided the best data source to represent marine benthic habitats in the Azores.  

    ISPA – Instituto Universitãrio

    When was it used2019

    What product was used: EU SeaMap 2016

    How was the product used: Seabed habitat data provided the base from which to re-define some of the biological and environmental thresholds for the EUNIS classification in the study area.  Information extracted from EMODnet was used to compute the seabed PAR, representing the amount of radiation reaching the seabed.  This information was fed into a series of analyses, combined with drop-down camera data, investigating the thresholds that delimit Azorean biological zones based on morphotype distribution patterns, and whether these thresholds enclose distinct species assemblages.  

     

                                                                                      Read more here

  • Evaluating seabed habitat representativeness across a set of Marine Protected Areas on the mid-Atlantic Ridge

    Outcomes: Authors produced an extent-based evaluation of the representativeness and level of protection offered to the range of seabed habitats found in the Azore MPA network. The conclusions of the assessment highlighted the need for protection of bathyal and abyssal habitats, and to apply a suitable ecological coherence criterion to the MPA network.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: EMODnet was the first product to provide a broad-scale full-coverage map of the study region. 

    University of the Azores – Institute of Marine Research (IMAR), University of the Azores

    When was it used2020

    What product was used: EU SeaMap 2016, both seabed substrate and biological zones

    How was the product used: Seabed substrate and biological zone data were clipped to the study area, and coverage of each EUNIS habitat in each biological zone was estimated. An index of impact was the assigned to each habitat, based on extractive and non-extractive human activities, to determine the level of protection offered to each habitat type.

     

                                                                                      Abstract available here

  • MESH Project (2004-2008) Case Study Library
    One of the 2004-2008 INTERREG-funded MESH project's key aims was to illustrating the value of having good spatial habitat maps for sustainable marine resource planning and development. So case studies were brought together to demonstrate: 
    • good spatial planning / decision making where good habitat data was available;
    • bad spatial planning / decision making where inadequate habitat data was available; and,
    • the use of habitat mapping in environmental or conservation management.

    Research-related case studies collated by the project can be found below:

    A comparison of soft classification techniques

    Appropriate use of multi-beam vs AGDS

    Complimentary acoustic survey techniques - surveying sandbanks in the Moray Firth cSAC

    Evaluating seabed mapping techniques

    Assessment of human pressures on seabed features

    Optimal detection and identification of biogenic structures using side scan sonar

    Maximum likelihood classification of AGDS data

    Optimal track spacing for AGDS

    Prior probability classification

    Redundancy of acoustic and video ground truth survey data - case study in Loch Maddy SAC 

    Piloting the use of drop-down scanning sonar for the detection of Sabellaria reef features

    Using statistics to support survey design

    Temporal use of AGDS

    The use of video techniques for ground truthing