|Benthos Overview Why should the benthos be monitored ?|
Protect the inheritance
Implementing regulations with a view to protecting out natural heritage is a new phenomenon. Action plans, treaties, agreements or directives have been submitted at the international, national and regional levels. Among these regulations, three of them concern large coastal zones and require extensive knowledge as regards benthic species and long-term monitoring :
The Enforcement of the European Directive on "Habitats" (production of high-resolution habitat mapping of Natura 2000 sites, definition of indicators and implementation of monitoring studies).
Enforcement of the Water Directive (taking into account the composition and abundance of the benthic macroflora and macrofauna to assess the ecological status).
Implementation of action plans and monitoring in the event of accidental pollutions (definition of a reference status along the coastline, protocols on monitoring in order to better identify the temporal variability in “workshop” coastal zones).
The common denominators of these regulations are as follows :
To produce maps on habitat distribution and their biological features.
To identify qualitative and/or quantitative indicators, to estimate “the state of conservation”.
To detect changes in space and time.
To understand the modifications by taking into account the environmental parameters, ecosystem dynamics and human activities.