A mass balance model for the Gulf of Cadiz: implications for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 4 (Food webs)
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AuthorsTorres, M.Á. (María de los Ángeles); Delgado, M. (Marina); Baldó, F. (Francisco); Sobrino, I. (Ignacio)
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) of the European waters by 2020. In a legislative framework, this Directive promotes the ecosystem approach to the management of human activities having an impact on the marine environment, integrating the concepts of environmental protection and sustainable use. In order to achieve GES, the Directive lists 11 Descriptors associated to specific criteria and indicators. Of those, Descriptor 4 (D4) addresses the food web structure and energy transfer between different components of the marine ecosystems. For the further development of candidate D4 indicators, the use of models provides essential information to understand dynamical aspects of the marine food webs and therefore helps to implement the MSDF in European Seas. In this regard, Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) is the most applied mass balance modelling tool worldwide since it typically includes all trophic levels from primary producers and ...