Day 1 :
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
Keynote: Cumulative impact assessment as a key conservation planning tool: An application on Posidonia oceanica meadows in Greek waters of the Aegean Sea
Time : 10:00-10:30
Vassiliki Vassilopoulou (PhD) is a Research Director at Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece. She is involved in research activities in the field of ecosystembased fisheries management. Since 2009, she has been engaged in Maritime Spatial Planning research issues through her involvement in several EU projects. In the last years, she is also working on issues related to the development of a more efficient interface between policy needs and scientific advice through interaction with key stakeholders. She has acted as chairperson or moderator, and/or was an invited speaker, in sessions dedicated to topics of her expertise in international conferences and workshops, and has been giving pertinent postgraduate lectures in the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki. She is member of International Scientific Committees and has recently joined the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) of the IUCN. She has more than 150 publications and presentations in international scientific journals and conferences.
Cumulative impact assessment is a computational tool for quantifying and visualizing the consequences of a combination of pressures caused by human activities on ecosystem components. It is a fundamental process in Conservation Planning and Marine Spatial Planning efforts based on an Ecosystem-Based Approach. For assessing the sum of impacts on ecosystem components, a well-developed approach that takes into consideration the presence/absence grid data of human activities and ecosystem components has been used. This approach requires a thorough knowledge of human activities (intensity, location) and ecosystem components (i.e. vulnerability, resilience) to assess their collective impacts. In this study, a key ecosystem component for the Mediterranean, the Posidonia oceanica meadows, has been selected aiming to identify areas where the status of this priority habitat is threatened and hence deserve the attention of the management authorities. As a first step, geospatial data of human activities and existing management measures were collected and processed. An impact score representing the per-pixel (1 km*1 km cell) average of Posidonia oceanica meadows vulnerability-weighted stressor intensities was calculated and mapped. According to the impact score, the total pressure on this ecosystem component was very low (79.8%) in the vast majority of the area where Posidonia oceanica extends (Figure 1). However, certain locations where the exerted pressures on sea grasses seemed to be rather high were identified in the sea regions of Chalkidiki, Attica, Southern Aegean Sea and Crete. These pressures appeared to be mainly connected to drivers such as small scale fishing, urbanization, ports and agricultural run-off. The latter suggest that aside from truly marine activities (e.g. small scale fishing), the importance of land sea interactions is also crucial for determining the status of coastal ecosystems.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Time : 10:30-11:00
Zhanqings Hao focused on the biodiversity and ecological functions. As one of the Chinese scientists who participated in biodiversity research, he initiated the establishment of 25ha temperate permanent monitoring forest plot in Northeast China in the year 2004, which is the earliest temperate forest plot in China. He has been an important member of Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio). After that, a series of forest plots had been established along successional stages and latitude gradients. All those forest plots provided the opportunity to detect the biodiversity patterns and maintaining mechanisms in temperate forests.
Whether deterministic or stochastic processes dominate temporal turnover of community composition and which factor has significant influence on that turnover, has been a central challenge in community ecology. Functional and phylogenetic temporal beta diversity can capture important insights of the underlying processes. In this study, we focus on functional temporal turnover based on 14 functional traits and phylogenetic temporal turnover using fully mapped data in two large temperate forest plots at different successional stage. We found that 1) Deterministic processes are the main process for both forests and size classes. The functional and phylogenetic compositions are relatively constrained at late successional stage and changed dynamically at early successional stage. Moreover, the functional and phylogenetic turnover of two size class trees have contrary tendency at different succession stage, which may be due to the similarities among death, recruitment and survival individuals. 2) Principal components and null model analysis showed that functional traits that are more related to “nutrient economy” and structure investment can significantly influence the temporal turnover; 3) Biotic factors (e.g.. basal area of neighborhood) play an important role in influencing functional and phylogenetic temporal turnover for both forest plot. In conclusion, our analysis clearly emphasizes the functional and phylogenetic temporal turnover are deterministic at local scale. In addition, identification of key functional traits are important for functional diversity analysis, which can contribute to a better understanding of local community assembly mechanisms.