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Spatially explicit risk approach for multi-hazard assessment and management in marine environment: The case study of the Adriatic Sea
Furlan, E.; Torresan, S.; Critto, A.; Marcomini, A. (2018). Spatially explicit risk approach for multi-hazard assessment and management in marine environment: The case study of the Adriatic Sea. Sci. Total Environ. 618: 1008-1023.
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697; e-ISSN 1879-1026, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Geographic information systems
Author keywords
    Marine Strategy Framework Directive; Multi-hazard assessment; Endogenic and exogenic pressures; Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis; Adriatic Sea;

Authors  Top 
  • Furlan, E.
  • Torresan, S.
  • Critto, A.
  • Marcomini, A.

    In the last few decades the health of marine ecosystems has been progressively endangered by the anthropogenic presence. Natural and human-made pressures, as well as climate change effects, are posing increasing threats on marine areas, triggering alteration of biological, chemical and physical processes. Planning of marine areas has become a challenge for decision makers involved in the design of sustainable management options. In order to address threats posed by climate drivers in combination with local to regional anthropogenic pressures affecting marine ecosystems and activities, a multi-hazard assessment methodology was developed and applied to the Adriatic Sea for the reference scenario 2000–2015. Through a four-stages process based on the consecutive analysis of hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk the methodology allows a semi-quantitative evaluation of the relative risk from anthropogenic and natural sources to multiple endpoints, thus supporting the identification and ranking of areas and targets more likely to be at risk. Resulting output showed that the higher relative hazard scores are linked to exogenic pressures (e.g. sea surface temperature variation) while the lower ones resulted from endogenic and more localized stressors (e.g. abrasion, nutrient input). Relatively very high scores were observed for vulnerability over the whole case study for almost all the considered pressures, showing seagrasses meadows, maërl and coral beds as the most susceptible targets. The approach outlined in this study provides planners and decision makers a quick-screening tool to evaluate progress towards attaining a good environmental status and to identify marine areas where management actions and adaptation strategies would be best targeted. Moreover, by focusing on risks induced by land-based drivers, resulting output can support the design of infrastructures for reducing pressures on the sea, contributing to improve the land-sea interface management.

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