Skip to Content

Resource hub

Development of JNCC Marine Ecosystem Services Optimisation models 2020

Marine Human Activities JNCC Publications Pressures Seabed Habitats and Geology 0963-8091 Evidence JNCC report series Marine Marine Habitat Mapping Marine Habitats Monitoring 650 Ecosystem Model


The benefits that humans derive from marine ecosystems through the provision of foods such as fish, crabs and scallops; and other less tangible goods, including opportunities for recreation, are increasingly being recognised. Human well-being is further indirectly supported by the processes and functions of ecosystems that regulate and maintain the natural environment, such as the absorption of flood waters by coastal saltmarshes, waste breakdown that maintains environmental quality and the provision of nursery habitats for commercially harvested species. These direct and indirect benefits are termed 'ecosystem services'.

Human activities that take place in coastal and marine environments can alter the provision of ecosystem services through depletion and degradation of natural assets. To ensure that uses and benefits are sustained, environmental managers and policy makers are seeking to develop tools to manage human demands and pressures and support decision making.

JNCC previously commissioned the development of five conceptual ecological models (CEMs), which represented broad marine sublittoral habitats (mud, sand, coarse sediment, mixed sediment, rock) in the UK, to support marine management, including indicator selection. Using these existing CEMS, JNCC developed initial marine ecosystem service optimisation models (MESO) using Bayesian Belief Networks to link the ecological components identified in the CEMS to the delivery of ecosystem services.

The aim of the current project was to further develop and test these initial proof-of-concept models, to improve confidence in the model relationships as well as increase the usability of the models for managers by creating a user interface. The project examined how both the pressures resulting from human activities and their impacts on ecosystem services could be incorporated in the models. The models simulate the probable effects of stressors (i.e. pressures) on the provision of ecosystem services, including intermediate (supporting services) and final ecosystem services supplied by the habitat.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2020·03·01

Tillin, H.M., Langmead, O., Pegg, S., Carr, S., Gibson- Hall, E., La Bianca, G., Luff, A., Keen, P.W., Wilding, C., Nicholson, J.C., Ivory, P. & van Rein, H. 2020. Development of JNCC Marine Ecosystem Services Optimisation models. JNCC Report No. 650. JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

To support marine management, including indicator selection, JNCC has previously commissioned the development of five conceptual ecological models which represent broad marine, sublittoral habitats in the UK.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2020·03·31

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

Back to top