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DEVOTES Informe resumido

Project ID: 308392
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
País: Spain

Periodic Report Summary 2 - DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status)

Project Context and Objectives:
Aligned with the meaning of the acronym, DEVOTES aims at developing innovative tools for better understanding marine biodiversity and assessing the environmental status. Three years along the project, DEVOTES has made great progress along these lines. We have (i) proposed an operational definition of Good Environmental Status; (ii) completed new conceptual models on the relationships between Drivers-Activities-Pressures-State Change-Impacts-Human Welfare and Management Responses, including specific matrices of pressure-impact for the EU regional seas; (iii) completed and analyzed the gaps of the current EU monitoring network; (iv) produced a software (DEVOTool) that collates >700 indicators used across the EU for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD); (v) proposed and tested 29 indicators, from which 16 are new and 13 are refined, covering all ecosystem components and biological descriptors of the MSFD; (vi) collated information of ecosystem models that can be used in the implementation of the MSFD, developing new applications for descriptors such as biodiversity and foodwebs; (vii) developed new monitoring systems (e.g. biosensors for early pollution warning; microarrays to detect HABs) and sequenced many species of microbes, plankton, meio- and macrofauna (available at GenBank); (viii) tested new monitoring methods through remote sensing, acoustics and genomics; (ix) proposed different ways to integrate the information to assess the status; and (x) finally, made a software (NEAT: Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool) that will serve to determine the environmental status in an integrative way, in all EU seas. In addition to these achievements, in the life of this project we have so far (i) published 110 papers (expected in the DoW: 50-75); (ii) organized two stakeholders meetings (expected 3); (iii) organized nine scientific sessions organized (expected 4); (iv) made 325 contributions to conferences (expected 80); (v) trained 12 PhD students (7 expected); (vi) organized 21 training courses (no expectations); and (vii) organized four summer schools (four expected). With one year ahead, the main focus is now to continue the dissemination of the outcomes of DEVOTES and reach potential end-users and stakeholders with the main developments of the project, for an effective use of European funding.

Project Results:
19 Deliverables and 26 Milestones completed. The progress beyond the state-of-the-art addresses 3 challenges:
(i) Assessment of anthropogenic pressures to which biodiversity responds:
• Provided cost-effective methods to determine the way in which cumulative, synergistic and antagonistic effects of pressures, with variation associated with climate change, affect marine biodiversity
• Determined the relative contribution of exogenic pressures to the observed or predicted changes in MSFD descriptor indicators
• Identified the socio-economic and legislative barriers preventing achieving GEnS and provided recommendations to the EC to implement the MSFD
(ii) Selection of appropriate indicators to assess the status of the descriptors:
• Deployed Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) and artificial substratum units (ASU’s) to examine the diversity of the understudied cryptobiota in the 4 Regional Seas
• Molecular techniques used in identification and monitoring tools (e.g. ARMS, ASUs, microarrays), as a new cost-effective tool, but also in assessment (e.g. indicators and tools based on genomics for phytoplankton, meiofauna and macroinvertebrates)
• Biological Trait Analysis used to describe different aspects of ecosystem functioning. Biological traits selected then encompass different aspects of life history, morphology and behaviour of the studied taxa and each trait has been divided into several categories
• Satellite ocean colour and temperature indicators to address as coastal water quality and eutrophication, and thus support inferences on biodiversity, fisheries management and aquaculture impacts, while providing sufficient spatial and temporal coverage of the Regional Seas
• Shell gaping behaviour to develop early warning biosensors to detect changes in water quality
• Put forward a suite (>30) of new cost-efficient indicators (for different ecosystem components and MSFD descriptors), based on novel, innovative monitoring methods, and proposed new methodologies for setting the target levels and boundaries for indicators
• Modelling tools used to develop coupled-biogeochemical and fisheries food-web models, modelling indicators of biodiversity and comparing them to indicators of food-webs
(iii) Integration of the indicators across multiple scales into a unique assessment:
• Developed an operational definition of ‘Good Environmental Status’ and proposed different ways of integrating multiple ecosystem components and indicators
• Developed a Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool (NEAT), which for the first time, enable integrative assessment of environmental status at different scales
84 scientific papers published, exceeding the anticipated 50-75 papers for the whole project in the proposal. Available in Open Access
• DEVOTool: freely available software, allows Regional Sea Conventions, Member States, EEA, etc., to search for indicators to assess status, select and refine indicators
• NEAT for assessing the environmental status of seas according to the MSFD. It is an Excel-based tool. By early 2016 a software will be available
• Molecular approaches in biodiversity monitoring, for different biodiversity components (e.g. in microbes, phytoplankton, meiofauna and macroinvertebrates). All sequenced species are incorporated in GenBank and BOLD repositories
• 2 stakeholder workshops organized (3 workshops proposed for the entire project)
• Organized 3 of the 4 workshops identified in our proposal
• 9 sessions organized in international conferences (IMBER, ASLO, EAERE, ECSA, CERF, EGU, etc), covering all RTD Work Packages (4 expected sessions in our proposal)
• 325 communications presented at different workshops, conferences and meetings (80 anticipated contributions for the whole period)
Training and capacity building
• 12 PhD students trained (our proposal anticipated 7)
• 21 Post-graduate training courses and 3 summer schools (our proposal anticipated 2 summer schools and an undetermined number of courses)

Potential Impact:
DEVOTES´ innovative results relate to development and implementation of monitoring methods, sampling analyses, and management practices across the EU. The advantages of the resulting technologies, compared to those presently available, are harmonised methodologies and internationally consistent application across regional seas.
What is the European Added Value?
Member States should assess the Good Environmental Status of their shared regional seas as part of the MSFD. The added value of DEVOTES primarily consists in a European concerted research effort to reach this goal. DEVOTES will provide integrative, harmonized and validated tools and indicators able to be used across EU. Non-EU countries (USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia) are also involved, giving to the EU a lead role. DEVOTES is highly relevant to many EU policies: MSFD, Water Framework Directive, Habitats Directive, Maritime Spatial Planning, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Integrated Maritime Policy, Common Fisheries Policy, Biodiversity Strategy 2020.
DEVOTES should significantly impact the implementation of the MSFD, with products delivered in an end-user friendly format and well disseminated.
• Scientific impact: the project has a strong scientific impact on various topics, including over 30 new indicators developed or refined; developing of monitoring tools, including acoustic, satellite and genomic applications; new applications of modelling approaches for food-web and fishing descriptors assessment; development of methods for quality boundaries setting, to be applied in assessment methods; development of uncertainty assessment, to be applied in assessment methods; and integrative assessment method to be applied in all regional seas, development of a multi-stakeholder systemic approach to identify the barriers (social, economic and legislative) that can hinder the achievement of GEnS.
• Technical impact: some of the innovations developed in DEVOTES have direct technical impact (e.g. non-invasive biosensors developed as early warning signals of pollution affecting biodiversity; and different genomic tools developed to assess the status or identify species of microbes, plankton, meio- and macro-fauna). In addition, we highlight several indirect technical impacts, because the knowledge developed in indicator selection, modelling application, new monitoring tools, integrative assessment, etc., have further potential applications.
• Commercial impact: Because we committed to developing open access tools our project has no commercial impact. However, with incorporation of further applications and improvements into NEAT, this tool could potentially be partially commercialized eventually.
• Social impact: we recognised that our project is mostly related to policy-makers, managers, scientists, etc. Thus, we have participated in the Ocean Sampling Day, a citizens’ science initiative from the EU project MicroB3, in 2013 (4 partners), 2014 (9 partners) and 2015 (11 partners), in order to make available our knowledge in monitoring and genomics for society.
• Environmental impact: We anticipate significant impact through exploitation of results by policy implementers, environmental managers, and statutory bodies, because the project has ensured that these bodies consider the new methods and new information in the forthcoming (2017) second assessment for the MSFD. Through partners who are involved as national MSFD contacts, some of the discussions in DEVOTES have fed into the MSFD monitoring proposals submitted in 2014 and the MSFD measures proposals submitted in 2015. In particular, the project produced the first interrogation of the wording of the Annexes and suggested changes for a future revision and also for the revision of the Commission Decision.

List of Websites:


Jose Angel Hormaetxea, (Administrative)
Tel.: +34946574000
Fax: +34946572555
Correo electrónico
Número de registro: 183699 / Última actualización el: 2016-06-15
Fuente de información: SESAM