Pergent Martini, Christine and Leoni, V. and Pasqualini, V. and Ardizzone, Giandomenico and Balestri, Elena and Bedini, Roberto and Belluscio, Andrea and Belsher, Thomas and Borg, Joseph A. and Boudouresque, C.F. and Boumaza, Salima and Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie and Buia, Maria Cristina and Calvo, Sebastiano and Cebrian, J. and Charbonnel, Eric and Cinelli, Francesco and Cossu, Antonio and Di Maida, Germana and Dural, Berrin and Francour, Patrice and Gobert, Sylvie and Lepoint, G. and Meinesz, Alexandre and Molenaar, Heike and Mansour, H.M. and Panayotidis, Panayotis and Peirano, Andrea and Pergent, Gérard and Piazzi, Luigi and Pirrotta, M. and Relini, Giulio and Romero, Javier and Sánchez Lizaso, José Luis and Semroud, Rachid and Shembri, Patrick J. and Shili, A. and Tomasello, Agostino and Velimirov, Branko (2005) Descriptors of Posidonia oceanica meadows: use and application. Ecological Indicators, Vol. 5 (3), p. 213-230. eISSN 1872-7034. Article.
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The conservation of the coastal marine environment requires the possession of information that enables the global quality of the environment to be evaluated reliably and relatively quickly. The use of biological indicators is often an appropriate method. Seagrasses in general, and Posidonia oceanica meadows in particular, are considered to be appropriate for biomonitoring because of their wide distribution, reasonable size, sedentary habit, easy collection and abundance and sensitivity to modifications of littoral zone. Reasoned management, on the scale of the whole Mediterranean basin, requires standardized methods of study, to be applied by both researchers and administrators, enabling comparable results to be obtained. This paper synthesises the existing methods applied to monitor P. oceanica meadows, identifies the most suitable techniques and suggests future research directions. From the results of a questionnaire, distributed to all the identified laboratories working on this topic, a list of the most commonly used descriptors was drawn up, together with the related research techniques (e.g. standardization, interest and limits, valuation of the results). It seems that the techniques used to study meadows are rather similar, but rarely identical, even though the various teams often refer to previously published works. This paper shows the interest of a practical guide that describes, in a standardized way, the most useful techniques enabling P. oceanica meadows to be used as an environmental descriptor. Indeed, it constitutes the first stage in the process.
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