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Advancing integrated seabed understanding: linking Blue Carbon and added-value monitoring considerations - ME414136

Description
This project draws together understanding and evidence of both seabed function, that is the collective life activities of the organisms living on and around the seabed and the interactions of these activities with the physical-(geo)chemical environment, and service provision (particularly for Blue Carbon) for key regions of the Secretary of State waters. It targets current gaps in understanding whilst demonstrating how developing a linked and iterative modelling and observational approach to monitoring, can provide a step-change in the evidence base for multiple policy areas (climate, biodiversity, UKMS/MSFD Descriptor 6, MPA/HPMAs, with links to service provision, natural capital and net gain).

It combines a desk-based review, model-output interrogation, and new modelling work with new observational work to provide a range of policy relevant outputs, fulfilling two main objectives:
1. Added-value monitoring – to consolidate, trial and demonstrate the combined modelling and observational added-value approach.
2. Blue Carbon – to provide improved understanding and fill key evidence gaps.
By linking work on Blue Carbon with wider seabed function consideration, the project aims to advance an integrated understanding of the ecosystem response to pressures and impacts on services provided, contributing to a step-change in the evidence base to support seabed management across policy areas.
Objective
This project covers 2 main objectives relating to added-value monitoring and Blue Carbon
1) Added-value monitoring – to consolidate, trial and demonstrate the combined modelling and observational added-value approach using an appropriate survey opportunity in FY21/22. This will provide a bridge between the first added-value report (ME414134) using various opportunistic existing datasets and a potential full monitoring proposal under SR22/23. It will allow a focused and tractable scale survey-addition (specifically designed for this purpose) to demonstrate the utility of the approach.
2) Blue Carbon – to provide improved understanding and fill key evidence gaps. Specifically, to:
a. Observe POC accumulation rates in seabed sediments and link to POC stocks (including provenance, recoverability).
b. To assess the comparative significance (present day status) and threats (climate forcing, trawling) to seabed Blue Carbon (with associated understanding of resilience, adaptation, and mitigation) and resulting implications for seabed assessments and management.
c. Evaluate the potential role of MPAs/HPMAs in carbon storage – BC role of protected areas.
The two objectives are highly aligned and will give great benefits, as highlighted above, when undertaken together but are not inter-dependent.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2021

To: 2023

Cost: £497,796
Contractor / Funded Organisations
C E F A S (CEFAS)
Keywords
Carbon              
Climate Change              
Environmental Impact              
Fisheries              
Marine Sediments              
Seabed              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine