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The Management of Mediterranean Coastal Habitats: A Plea for a Socio-ecosystem-Based Approach

Abstract : Biodiversity is often defined erroneously as the number of species. The higher the number of species, the better the status or the health of a habitat is considered to be. Managers, stakeholders and environmentalists worldwide often prioritize the ‘species approach’. The protection of an iconic and endearing species is obviously easier than that of tiny zooplankton species, although the latter may play a far more important role than the former in the functioning of healthy ecosystems. The species approach has been widely favoured compared to the ecosystem approach. However, ‘species-by-species’ management is unrealistic. The problem is that the management of natural habitats is often driven by environmentalist lobbies on the basis of taxonomy (e.g. mammals, turtles, birds, iconic fish, flowering plants, etc.) and disciplinary lobbies (biology, benthos, pelagos, contaminants, currents, etc.). Ecosystems are units of biological and spatial organization that include all the organisms, their interactions, the functional compartments they belong to, along with the components of the abiotic environment. The concept of the socio-ecosystem is useful insofar as it emphasizes the fact that man is part of ecosystems. Here, the authors make use of four case studies, in the Mediterranean Sea, in an attempt to demonstrate the interest of a comprehensive, socio-ecosystem-based approach in the field of environmental management. They also highlight the importance of tackling the coupling between benthic and pelagic ecosystems and between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 8:52:40 AM
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Charles-François Boudouresque, Patrick Astruch, Daniela Bănaru, Jean Blanchot, Aurelie Blanfuné, et al.. The Management of Mediterranean Coastal Habitats: A Plea for a Socio-ecosystem-Based Approach. Hubert-Jean Ceccaldi; Yves Hénocque; Teruhisa Komatsu; Patrick Prouzet; Benoit Sautour; Jiro Yoshida. Evolution of Marine Coastal Ecosystems under the Pressure of Global Changes. Proceedings of Coast Bordeaux Symposium and of the 17th French-Japanese Oceanography Symposium, Springer International Publishing, pp.297-320, 2020, 978-3-030-43483-0. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-43484-7_20⟩. ⟨hal-02899067⟩

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