The applicative model here displayed is a schematic conceptual model that simplifies the most important socio-ecological elements related to the management of N2K sites and their connections. The idea behind the creation of this model was to connect the ecological/oceanographic observing systems of ECOAdS with the management of Natura 2000 network (N2k).
The conceptual model is made by different boxes containing the elements related to the management of N2K sites. There is no distinction in terms of size of the boxes, while the colour defines the kind of elements related to the N2K management: social, ecological and oceanographic elements. Social elements (yellow boxes) are characterized by all those elements concerning the governance domain of N2K management: EU Directives targeted by ECOSS (i.e. HD, BD, WFD, MSFD), the public/management authority of the N2K sites, the management goals, objectives, conservation measures/Action plan, the stakeholders involved in the N2K sites and human activities. The ecological elements (green boxes) are: target species and ecological processes for which N2K sites were designated, the ecosystem services, the ecological monitoring programmes and the ecological variables they measure. Oceanographic elements (blue boxes) include global changes, ocean processes, oceanographic observing system and the monitored oceanographic variables. Performance indicators constitute a crosscutting element (orange box), since they can be obtained from single ecological or single oceanographic variables, combinations of multiple ecological or multiple oceanographic variables, or even combinations of one or several ecological variables with one or several oceanographic variables. The monitoring programmes, the variables and the performance indicators are then all included in the ECOAdS box (red box).
The spatial arrangement of the boxes in the model follows a hierarchical organization: boxes at the top and at the bottom of the model refer to global aspects such as EU Directives, wide-scale monitoring programmes and ecosystem services, while in the centre of the model, the elements are related to local aspects of the N2K sites, such as goals, objectives, target species and ecological processes. Arrows indicate the relationships among the elements. They can go in one direction from one box to another or can be bi-directional in case elements are expected to influence each other. Dotted lines indicate data flow, while continuous lines indicate a causal relationship between two boxes based on the direction of the arrow. Terms upon arrows specify the type of relationship linking two boxes. While the conceptual model was built around the need to manage N2K sites, i.e. with the box ‘MPA Management Goal’ as an entry point, different users may use different entry points according to their needs: a stakeholder may start at the Stakeholder box, a public authority at the Public/Management authority box, and so on.
Scuba diving centres
Preservation of target habitats (‘Shallow inlets and bays’ and ‘Reefs’) at a favourable status
Regulate human activities
Establish no-fishing buffer zones
Increase MPA size
Establish network of MPAs
Increase public awareness, enforcement, monitoring
Remove invasive species
Remove marine litter
Improve water quality
Install signalling/mooring buoys
Restore target species
Maintain/restore the current status of target species
Minimize nutrient load and pollution
Preserve coralligenous community diversity and gene pool
Reduce impact of human activities
Prevent illegal fishing of Lithophaga lithophaga
Reduce impact of invasive species
Reduce impact of marine litter
Minimize the effect of climate change and possible diseases