|Toward an ecosystem approach to ICM: assessing ecological provinces at sea by remote sensing|
In: Journal of Coastal Conservation. Opulus/Springer: Uppsala. ISSN 1400-0350; e-ISSN 1874-7841
Ecosystem approach; Ecological province
The ecosystem approach requires that all elements of an ecosystem, and their mutual interactions, be taken into consideration in any management effort. The selection of suitable geographical units, where this approach can be taken, requires the assessment of ecological provinces, characterized by a coherent set of environmental traits. The marine side of coastal zones, where the interaction between atmosphere, land and sea is not bounded by evident geographic markers, represents a critical factor in this assessment. A coastal province can be defined by physical setting, but also by its bio-geo-chemical features, ideally on the basis of synoptic remote sensing data, collected at space/time scales not accessible by other means. Classifications based on indicators such as temperature, wind speed and chlorophyll-like pigments, demonstrate the identification of potential ecological provinces in the Mediterranean Sea. The results suggest remote sensing as the ideal tool to set up the basis for an ecosystem approach to the management of each province.