ECOLOGICAL SURVEY

Coastal ecosystem monitoring

The ecological state of an aquatic ecosystem is assessed through its structure and its operation. To do that, we use biological quality elements (abundance and diversity of plant and animal species) but also hydro-morphological and physical-chemical elements (turbidity, temperature, oxygen, nutriment concentration, salinity). This state can be assessed for regulatory purposes or when exploring unknown sites, making inventories, for cartography, management, the assessment of the initial or final state of a site, or when monitoring works and their impacts…
Regulatory monitoring requirements are defined by public policy, essentially at the national and European levels. The implementation of a monitoring programme uses monitoring networks that measure parameters that indicate the state of each quality element, thereby making it possible to monitor changes in marine ecosystem states and coastal water quality.
In France, the Water Agency outsources these monitoring networks to various partners. To make it easier to access the results, the data from the different Mediterranean monitoring networks are grouped together on a single platform created by Andromède Océanologie in partnership with the Water Agency: the MEDTRIX platform (https://plateforme.medtrix.fr/). Marine environment experts (scientists, managers, technical agents, etc.) thus have free access to very high resolution spatial data and data on quality indicators, anthropogenic pressure, biological and acoustic data, geographical data…
This platform groups together 32 monitoring networks operated by about twenty partners. Andromède Océanologie has itself been in charge of several networks for a decade: sea-floor temperature monitoring, ichtyological assemblies (fish communities), marine habitat density analysis network, biological monitoring of two key Mediterranean ecosystems (Posidonia meadows and coralligenous reefs), anthropogenic pressure monitoring. The state of health of these ecosystems and their evolution in time and space are assessed using monitoring methods we have developed (acoustic telemetry, photogrammetry, photographic quadrats, 360° cameras, etc.).

Thanks to its experience, its multiple monitoring networks, its shared research and its capacity to innovate and develop monitoring methods, Andromède Océanologie can conduct marine ecosystem knowledge and monitoring projects (from the surface to the mesophotic zone) both in a regulatory context and for other purposes (knowledge, impact monitoring, etc.).

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