Research Topic

Using Ecological Models to Support and Shape Environmental Policy Decisions

About this Research Topic

Marine and coastal ecosystems are directly or indirectly affected by human activities. Because of their complexity (linkages/interactions and temporal/spatial extent) predicting the effects of regulations and management measures that influence these ecosystems has been challenging. Ecological and socio-ecological models have been recognized to be essential in addressing this issue. In fact, these tools can provide an integrative image of key mechanisms and processes on different scales and hierarchical levels (e.g., individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems) and explore the consequences of alternative policies or management scenarios. These models have long been used and developed in academic and research settings. More recently they have been used as heuristic tools for policy and management (e.g., understanding general patterns in ecosystem structure and functioning, qualitative assessment of the impact of single or multiple pressures on selected species/functional groups). These types of models have a great potential to directly support policies and management decisions, and this potential is beginning to be realized. Thus, this Research Topic focuses on recent advancements in modeling tools for directly supporting management and policies aimed at preservation and sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources.

In particular, we encourage the submission of contributions dealing with different types of modeling approaches (e.g., species distribution, food webs, end-to-end, hydrodynamic-biogeochemical, coupled socioeconomic-ecological, Lagrangian, Bayesian) and their support to selected policies: among all, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, mainly 14th ” Life Below Water”), Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), EU Policies (Common Fishery Policy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Plastic Strategy, Blue Growth), US Policies (Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management Road Map).

Main topics of interest are:
- Fisheries regulations (from effort reduction, quotas, to implementation of marine protected areas) on commercial and non-commercial marine resources
- Climate Regulations (IPCC scenarios)
- Pollutants and toxins regulations (from litter to noise, the impact of these emerging pressures on the environment and possible scenarios to mitigate them)
- Coastal management and actions (harbors, marine occupation, energy generation plants)
- Agriculture measures and wastewater management plans impacting coastal and marine ecosystems

We invite papers to assess the effects of measures using indicators and the setting of threshold/targets (if available) compliant with specific legal requirements. We would like the contributors also to provide/propose future actions to undertake, aiming at structuring a modeling framework fit for policy purpose.




Photo Credit:
European Marine Board, Arteveldehogeschool and iconicbestiary - stock.adobe.com


Keywords: operational models, indicators, decision-making, ocean


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Marine and coastal ecosystems are directly or indirectly affected by human activities. Because of their complexity (linkages/interactions and temporal/spatial extent) predicting the effects of regulations and management measures that influence these ecosystems has been challenging. Ecological and socio-ecological models have been recognized to be essential in addressing this issue. In fact, these tools can provide an integrative image of key mechanisms and processes on different scales and hierarchical levels (e.g., individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems) and explore the consequences of alternative policies or management scenarios. These models have long been used and developed in academic and research settings. More recently they have been used as heuristic tools for policy and management (e.g., understanding general patterns in ecosystem structure and functioning, qualitative assessment of the impact of single or multiple pressures on selected species/functional groups). These types of models have a great potential to directly support policies and management decisions, and this potential is beginning to be realized. Thus, this Research Topic focuses on recent advancements in modeling tools for directly supporting management and policies aimed at preservation and sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources.

In particular, we encourage the submission of contributions dealing with different types of modeling approaches (e.g., species distribution, food webs, end-to-end, hydrodynamic-biogeochemical, coupled socioeconomic-ecological, Lagrangian, Bayesian) and their support to selected policies: among all, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, mainly 14th ” Life Below Water”), Convention of Biodiversity (CBD), Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), EU Policies (Common Fishery Policy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Plastic Strategy, Blue Growth), US Policies (Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management Road Map).

Main topics of interest are:
- Fisheries regulations (from effort reduction, quotas, to implementation of marine protected areas) on commercial and non-commercial marine resources
- Climate Regulations (IPCC scenarios)
- Pollutants and toxins regulations (from litter to noise, the impact of these emerging pressures on the environment and possible scenarios to mitigate them)
- Coastal management and actions (harbors, marine occupation, energy generation plants)
- Agriculture measures and wastewater management plans impacting coastal and marine ecosystems

We invite papers to assess the effects of measures using indicators and the setting of threshold/targets (if available) compliant with specific legal requirements. We would like the contributors also to provide/propose future actions to undertake, aiming at structuring a modeling framework fit for policy purpose.




Photo Credit:
European Marine Board, Arteveldehogeschool and iconicbestiary - stock.adobe.com


Keywords: operational models, indicators, decision-making, ocean


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

18 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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