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A Bayesian approach for assessing the boundary between desirable and undesirable environmental status - An example from a coastal fish indicator in the Baltic Sea

Laurila-Pant, Mirka and Mantyniemi, Samu and Östman, Örjan and Olsson, Jens and Uusitalo, Laura and Lehikoinen, Annukka (2021). A Bayesian approach for assessing the boundary between desirable and undesirable environmental status - An example from a coastal fish indicator in the Baltic Sea. Ecological Indicators. 120 , 106975
[Research article]

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Abstract

Ecological indicator approaches typically compare the prevailing state of an ecosystem component to a reference state reflecting good environmental conditions, i.e. the desirable state. However, defining the reference state is challenging due to a wide range of uncertainties related to natural variability and measurement error in data, as well as ecological understanding. This study propose a novel probabilistic approach combining historical monitoring data and ecological understanding to estimate the uncertainty associated with the boundary value of an ecological indicator between good and poor environmental states. Bayesian inference is used to estimate the epistemic uncertainty about the true state of an indicator variable during an historical reference period. This approach replaces the traditional boundary value with probability distribution, indicating the uncertainty about the boundary between environmental states providing a transparent safety margin associated with the risk of misclassification of the indicator's state. The approach is demonstrated by applying it to a time-series of an ecological status indicator, 'Abundance of coastal key fish species', included in HELCOM's Baltic Sea regional status assessment. We suggest that acknowledgement of the uncertainty behind the final classification leads to more transparent and better-informed decision-making processes.

Authors/Creators:Laurila-Pant, Mirka and Mantyniemi, Samu and Östman, Örjan and Olsson, Jens and Uusitalo, Laura and Lehikoinen, Annukka
Title:A Bayesian approach for assessing the boundary between desirable and undesirable environmental status - An example from a coastal fish indicator in the Baltic Sea
Series Name/Journal:Ecological Indicators
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:120
Article number:106975
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:1470-160X
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
Keywords:Status assessment, Classification uncertainty, MSFD, Perca fluviatilis, Good environmental status
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109503
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109503
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106975
Web of Science (WoS)000591906400004
ID Code:22741
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Mar 2021 13:43
Metadata Last Modified:11 Mar 2021 13:51

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