© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 19400, doi:10.1038/srep19400.
A decision support framework for the management of lagoon ecosystems was tested using four European Lagoons: Ria de Aveiro (Portugal), Mar Menor (Spain), Tyligulskyi Liman (Ukraine) and Vistula Lagoon (Poland/Russia). Our aim was to formulate integrated management recommendations for European lagoons. To achieve this we followed a DPSIR (Drivers-Pressures-State Change-Impacts-Responses) approach, with focus on integrating aspects of human wellbeing, welfare and ecosystem sustainability. The most important drivers in each lagoon were identified, based on information gathered from the lagoons’ stakeholders, complemented by scientific knowledge on each lagoon as seen from a land-sea perspective. The DPSIR cycles for each driver were combined into a mosaic-DPSIR conceptual model to examine the interdependency between the multiple and interacting uses of the lagoon. This framework emphasizes the common links, but also the specificities of responses to drivers and the ecosystem services provided. The information collected was used to formulate recommendations for the sustainable management of lagoons within a Pan-European context. Several common management recommendations were proposed, but specificities were also identified. The study synthesizes the present conditions for the management of lagoons, thus analysing and examining the activities that might be developed in different scenarios, scenarios which facilitate ecosystem protection without compromising future generations.
This study was supported by the European Commission, under the 7th Framework Programme, through the collaborative research project LAGOONS (contract n° 283157); by European funds through COMPETE and by Portuguese funds through the national Foundation for Science and Technology – FCT (PEst-C/MAR/LA0017/2013). The post-Doc grant SFRH/BPD/41117/2007 (M Dolbeth) and the PhD grant SFRH/BD/79170/2011 (LP Sousa) supported by FCT are also acknowledged.
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