European Environment Agency (EEA)

EU 2010 biodiversity baseline — adapted to the MAES typology (2015)


Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

Why do we need to revise the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report?

Scientific and policy context for the revision
This report presents a revised overview of the EEA's EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report. The revision is necessary because the typology of ecosystems used in the 2010 report has since been altered by a working group of biodiversity experts.

The EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report examined the state and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem components in the EU-27 (1) (see Annex). The report was structured according to ecosystem types, and looked at eight ecosystem types in total: agroecosystems, grasslands, heath and scrubs, forests, wetlands, lakes and rivers, coastal ecosystems, and marine ecosystems.

However, in 2011 a Working Group on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES WG) was set up under the Common Implementation Framework (CIF), the governance structure to underpin the effective delivery of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. This Working Group ultimately formulated a different typology to the one used in the 2010 EEA report. The Working Group was set up in order to support Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, which called on Member States to map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services in their national territory with the assistance of the European Commission. The first task of MAES WG was to support the development of a coherent analytical framework to be applied by the EU and its Member States in order to ensure consistent approaches in mapping biodiversity. Part of this task was to ensure that a common typology of ecosystems was used across Europe.

Based on the work of MAES WG, the European Commission in April 2013 published a discussion paper entitled 'Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services: An analytical framework for ecosystem assessments under Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020' (2). The discussion paper outlined a new typology of ecosystems, and this new typology was discussed and further refined by MAES WG. This refined typology has now become the recommended typology for EU biodiversity assessments, and is slightly different from the list of ecosystems used for the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline. The ecosystems used in the refined typology are: urban, cropland, grassland, woodland and forest, heathland and shrub, sparsely vegetated land, wetlands, rivers and lakes, marine inlets and transitional waters, coastal, shelf, open ocean (3).

The EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report was compiled using the best available data. It can therefore still be used as a reference point to support the measurement of progress towards biodiversity targets. But due to the change of typology of ecosystems, the facts and figures provided in the report need to be recalculated to be aligned with the MAES typology. This report provides these necessary recalculations.

Method used to conduct the revision of this report
Many of the facts and figures presented in the original 2010 report were based on a 2008 database compiled from Article 17 data. Other facts and figures in the 2010 report used CORINE Land Cover data (1990, 2000, 2006). Both these groups of facts and figures have now been recalculated using the same 2008 database but with the tools described below.

A new database has been created to link species and habitats with MAES typology of ecosystems
To support the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report, the EEA created a database to link species and habitat types to ecosystems. This database was compiled in 2008, using datasets on species and habitat types that had been reported by Member States under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. In 2014, as a result of the new MAES typology, this database was revised. It now provides information on how each species and each habitat are associated to a MAES ecosystem in each biogeographical region (if the species or habitat is present in that biogeographical region).

Linking the MAES typology of ecosystems to CORINE Land Cover data
The new MAES typology of ecosystems is organised in two levels: level 1 (terrestrial, freshwater, marine) and level 2. Level 2 contains 12 units, which are sub-categories of level 1. For example, there are six terrestrial units, two freshwater units, and four marine units (see Table 1.1 below). This new typology includes two terrestrial units (Urban and Sparsely vegetated areas) that were not listed in the typology used for the 2010 biodiversity baseline report. In addition, the MAES Marine section is more detailed than the 2010 report and has 4 units: Marine inlets and transitional waters, Coastal areas (shallow marine systems), Shelf, and Open ocean as described in Box 1.1.

Notes to help better understand this revision of the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline
The remainder of this report summarises in tabular form information from the EEA Technical report No 12/2010 — 'EU 2010 biodiversity baseline' recalculated according to the new MAES typology of ecosystems.

How to use this report

  • Specific terms are defined in the paper 'EU 2010 biodiversity baseline: Glossary (5)'. Additional explanations can be found in Chapter 15 of the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report.
  • Each table replaces and refers to a figure or table published in the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report; the number of this figure or table in the 2010 report is indicated between brackets for easier cross-referencing.
  • Because the MAES typology defines a completely new approach for categorising marine ecosystems, all figures and tables presented as Coastal and Marine ecosystems in the EU 2010 biodiversity baseline report have been recalculated and new information is provided in this document.
  • 'Species or Habitats of European interest' refers to species and habitats listed in the annexes of the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992).

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