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Developing a saltmarsh classification tool for the European water framework directive
Best, M.; Massey, A.; Prior, A. (2007). Developing a saltmarsh classification tool for the European water framework directive, in: Devlin, M. et al. (Ed.) Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in European marine waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 55(Spec. Issue 1-6): pp. 205-214
In: Devlin, M.; Best, M.; Haynes, D. (Ed.) (2007). Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in European marine waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 55(Spec. Issue 1-6). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 297 pp., more
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Classification; Estuaries; Salt marshes; Seagrass; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Best, M.
  • Massey, A.
  • Prior, A.

Abstract
    The Water Framework Directive (WFD) identifies marine angiosperms (seagrasses and saltmarshes) as one of the biological elements used to classify water body status. This paper concentrates on the saltmarsh classification tools currently under development in the UK and RoI by the Marine Plants Task Team (MPTT) of the UK Technical Advisory Group (UK TAG). Saltmarsh classification is presently focusing on habitat extent, zonation and species diversity in order to fulfil the requirements of the WFD normative definitions. One of the many issues is that the natural rates of erosion and/or accretion differ between locations - this spatial and temporal natural variation is difficult to quantify; the tools and reference conditions developed will need to take this into consideration. To accurately quantify the classification boundaries and natural variability has posed a number of challenges; possible solutions are identified in this paper. Novel future classifications may also include saltmarsh ecosystem functioning (e.g., as a marine fish nursery) which may be further developed in an integrated saltmarsh tool.

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