Impact of Human Pressures on the Mediterranean Sea’s Ecosystem

The Mediterranean has been described as ‘under siege’ because of the intense pressure it is under from a variety of human activities. But more information is needed to see what impact the activities are having on the ecosystem and its resources. An EU-funded project has published a report to help plug the information gap.

transportation, beacons, clever sensor device, Smart device, nanochips, type 2 diabetes, graphene, Wastewater treatment, kidney disease, cancer treatment, data transmission, sensitive robots, Photovoltaic, hydrogen mobility, genetic codes, wastewater treatment, Earthquake Defences, food waste, plastic pollution, Breast Cancer, renewable resources, energy self-sufficient, cancer, Infectious Disease in Dogs, Printed Solar Cell, chronic diseases, Radical Aircraft Engine, Infrared Sensor, Mummifying, bacterial and viral infection, steel waste gases, Hydrogen-Powered Mobility, Gene cluster identification, Equipment Waste, plant cells, biodegradable materials, climate change, biomedical devices, Stretchable Smart Sensor, brain cells, interstitium, Mediterranean diet, Bat DNA, graphene, global warming, infectious disease, INTEGRA , cancer, Huntington, man flu, black hole, Carbon dioxide, genes, Alzheimer, Brain-computer interfaces, graphene, immune system, topology, climate change, Twin Embryos, blue brain, climate change, human genome, mature B cell neoplasia, artificial iris, autonomous robot, chemotherapy, tidal energy, Nanomedicine, ecosystem, Mycotoxins, obesity, methylisation, deep drilling, brain scans, volcanic gas, biocatalyst enzymes, earthquakes, detectors, robotics, asthma sufferers, infrastructure, olive trees, solar energy, satellites, olive oil, robotic arms, zika virus, locked-in state, digital detox, climate change, climate, stroke, The new production method was developed by engineers at the University of Exeter. It consists in creating entire device arrays directly on the copper substrates used for the commercial production of graphene, after which complete and fully-functional devices can be transferred to a substrate of choice. This process has been demonstrated by producing a flexible and completely transparent graphene oxide-based humidity sensor. Not only does this device outperform currently-available commercial sensors, but it’s also cheap and easy to produce using common wafer-scale or roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques. ‘The conventional way of producing devices using graphene can be time-consuming, intricate and expensive and involves many process steps including graphene growth, film transfer, lithographic patterning and metal contact deposition,’ explains Prof David Wright from Exeter's Engineering department. ‘Our new approach is much simpler and has the very real potential to open up the use of cheap-to-produce graphene devices for a host of important applications from gas and bio-medical sensors to touch-screen displays.’ One of team’s main objectives was to increase the range of surfaces that graphene devices can be put on. Whilst the demonstrated humidity sensor was integrated in a plasdinosaur, dieting, coral, dengue epidemics, vaccines, thermal energy, artificial intelligence, Cloudlightning, Memristors, Sensory Tool, HIV, autonomous robot, offshore renewable energy, Wearable robots, processors, Artificial, climate, plasmons, Antarctica’s ice, cryogenic preservation

Around the world marine ecosystems are being stressed by a diversity of anthropogenic activity. Fisheries and aquaculture, pollution (including agricultural run-off), habitat loss and degradation, and species invasion are all putting the ecosystems in seas and oceans under pressure. Human activity is increasing rapidly and the EU-funded MERCES (Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas) project aims to further our understanding of the changing interaction between humans, the environment and marine species.

The Mediterranean Sea is a highly diverse marine ecosystem that hosts 7–10% of the world’s marine biodiversity. Using trend data from 1950 to 2011, the MERCES project has investigated the whole of the Mediterranean Sea and found that anthropogenic activities have played an important role in driving species dynamics. The project recently published a paper in ‘Scientific Reports’ in which they present their findings, including their observation of a reduction in abundance of important fish species amounting to a decrease of 34% of both commercial and non-commercial species and 41% of top predators. The team explains that community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators all show that the ecosystem has been degraded over time.

MERCES evaluated the temporal responses of species abundance and ecosystem dynamics to changes in primary productivity and fisheries using the Ecopath with Ecosin (EwE) food web model approach. The team focused on eco-system based management (EBM), rather than an evaluation of single resources and threats, using models that allow for the quantitative assessment of the role of different stressors.

The study, ‘Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time’, quantifies temporal dynamics and then calculates a series of ecological indicators to analyse past ecosystem dynamics. Their specific goals were to: investigate the sea’s temporal evolution by developing a hind-cast scenario, to establish differences and similarities in historical ecosystem dynamics through modelling, and to analyse the structural and functional historical changes of the sea’s ecosystems using specific model-based indicators.

They describe their study as a ‘baseline reference’, which can play a role for future research in the face of increasing pressure on the Mediterranean due to the combination of climate change and human activity. Since the intensity of these stressors is increasing throughout most of the Mediterranean basin, temporal analyses are increasingly needed to inform effective current and future marine policies and management actions.

Source: CORDIS