The development of an indicator of the condition of sublittoral rock communities (Phase 2): Spatial correlation between environmental conditions and biological data 2023
Under the obligations set by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (2008/56/EC) to Member States, and in line with the subsequent Commission Decision (2010/477/EC) and the resulting UK Marine Strategy (Part one; Defra 2012), JNCC is developing an indicator of condition for sublittoral rock habitats. This will contribute to the assessment of the Good Environmental Status (GES). JNCC Report 727 (Strong and Johnson 2023) provides a full background on the policy context and rationale behind this project.
A first stage of this work (Phase 1) was undertaken in collaboration with the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS, University of Hull) in 2016/17 (see JNCC Report 727, Strong & Johnson 2023). Phase 1 identified potential species that show strong correlations in abundance (increasing or decreasing) with a pressure gradient.
The results obtained in Phase 1 of the work are likely to have been highly affected by the nature of the data (semi-quantitative), dataset sizes and choices made in the data processing and analysis (e.g. thresholds or criteria for species grouping, inclusion or exclusion). Therefore, JNCC commissioned a second phase (Phase 2).
The specific objectives of Phase 2 were:
- To explore and test the assessment method from Phase 1, and explore avenues to reduce the unexplained variance, including exploring the applicability of some additional data.
- To develop a set of recommendations to improve information on survey methods and data collection for the validation of the indicator.
While the additional data was ultimately deemed unsuitable for testing with the TITAN analysis, the overarching aim of Phase 2 of the study, to refine the method where appropriate to better define the condition of sublittoral rock at regional and local scales considering prevailing environmental conditions, was achieved.
This resource may not be fully accessible for all users. If you need a copy in a different or more accessible format, please contact Communications@jncc.gov.uk.
Resource type Publication
Topic category Environment
Reference date 2023·03·01
Franco, A., Mazik, K., Thomson, S., Duncombe-Smith, S. & Singleton, G. 2023. The development of an indicator of the condition of sublittoral rock communities (Phase 2): Spatial correlation between environmental conditions and biological data. JNCC Report 731. JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.
This report summarises Phase 2 of the work on the development of the sublittoral rock indicator, reflecting the work which took place between 2017 and 2018.
Communications, JNCC publisher
Limitations on public access No limitations
Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0
Metadata date 2023·03·24
Metadata point of contact