Special open IMCC5 Symposium on biodiversity indicators


by Abigail McQuatters-Gollop

From science to evidence – innovative uses of biodiversity indicators for effective marine policy and conservation


Indicators are effective tools for summarizing and communicating key aspects of ecosystem state and have a long record of use in marine pollution and fisheries management. The application of biodiversity indicators to assess the status of species, habitats, and functional diversity in marine conservation and policy, however, is rapidly developing and multiple indicator roles and features are emerging. For example, some operational biodiversity indicators trigger management action when a threshold is reached, while others play an interpretive, or surveillance, role in informing management. Additionally, links between pressures and biodiversity indicators may be unclear or obscured by environmental change. Finally, much practical work on applying biodiversity indicators to marine policy and conservation is developing rapidly in the management realm, with a lag before academic publication. Making best use of biodiversity indicators depends on sharing and synthesizing cutting-edge knowledge and experiences.

Our special open symposium, entitled “From science to evidence – innovative uses of biodiversity indicators for effective marine policy and conservation”, will provide examples of biodiversity indicator application in policy and conservation followed by a discussion of common themes and challenges. We are looking for presenters who will describe a diverse range of applied case study uses of biodiversity indicators as well as insights into biodiversity indicator theory.

Diversity and inclusivity are key to aggregating the widest-ranging collection of experiences and examples and we specifically encourage abstract applications from workers from Eastern regions and from developing countries. The session will conclude with a discussion addressing the question ‘How can we move forward with biodiversity indicator use in marine policy and conservation?’ This overarching question will be further discussed in the associated focus group session, with the objective of publishing a scientific paper on the topic.


Herbivorous fish are one example of an indicator managers can use to assess the health of marine ecosystems (© Abigail McQuatters-Gollop)


If you are interested in speaking, please send your abstract to me by 9 March 2018 at abigail.mcquatters-gollop@plymouth.ac.uk. We will then give you a session code to use when you submit your abstract to the conference via the website.

If you have any questions at all please ask!

Looking forward to seeing you at IMCC,

Abigail McQuatters-Gollop (Plymouth University), Ian Mitchell (JNCC), and Saskia Otto (University of Hamburg)



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