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Regionalisation of the Mediterranean basin, a MERMEX synthesis

Regionalisation of the Mediterranean basin, a MERMEX synthesis
Regionalisation of the Mediterranean basin, a MERMEX synthesis

Regionalisation aims at delimiting provinces within which physical conditions, chemical properties, and biological communities are reasonably homogeneous. This article proposes a synthesis of the many recent regionalisations of the open-sea regions of the Mediterranean Sea. The nine studies considered here defined regions based on different, and sometimes complementary, criteria: dynamics of surface chlorophyll concentration, ocean currents, three-dimensional hydrological and biogeochemical properties, or the distribution of organisms. Although they identified different numbers and patterns of homogeneous regions, their compilation in the epipelagic zone identifies nine consensus frontiers, eleven consensus regions with relatively homogeneous conditions, and four heterogeneous regions with highly dynamical conditions. The consensus frontiers and regions are in agreement with well-known hydrodynamical features of the Mediterranean Sea, which constrain the distribution of hydrological and ecological variables. The heterogeneous regions are rather defined by intense mesoscale activity. The synthesis proposed here could constitute a reference step for management actions and spatial planning, such as the application of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and for future biogeochemical and ecological studies in the Mediterranean Sea.

Biogeochemistry, Circulation, Epipelagic ocean, Management, Mediterranean Sea, Mesoscale features, Regionalisation, Spatial planning
0079-6611
7-20
Ayata, Sakina Dorothée
191655ad-7931-4001-bf7e-1a97087ffdab
Irisson, Jean Olivier
2cc0745a-4c7f-416c-ace0-9ec57a872296
Aubert, Anaïs
8e67127d-8b76-4498-8525-d9adc21e6faa
Berline, Léo
4d89b5ea-6ced-418b-a576-47957b05e04e
Dutay, Jean Claude
23a44c2e-4b06-4260-85a0-3f66184ee3fc
Mayot, Nicolas
8e7f791a-51d2-4863-8b86-eea2dc1c7d74
Nieblas, Anne Elise
8498df58-b020-4f04-9069-84d52f9407d1
D'Ortenzio, Fabrizio
6274a2d5-4d65-4697-b30d-c4a2893b112c
Palmiéri, Julien
c4144cfc-08f6-403c-a16a-d6f17a88e0be
Reygondeau, Gabriel
76140d67-7bc7-4e5d-b4c0-e6a18889d5f6
Rossi, Vincent
98d46452-970a-4565-b87c-198de8e0bd86
Guieu, Cécile
7789bc2c-9e89-4971-bee3-ffc87e967bab
Ayata, Sakina Dorothée
191655ad-7931-4001-bf7e-1a97087ffdab
Irisson, Jean Olivier
2cc0745a-4c7f-416c-ace0-9ec57a872296
Aubert, Anaïs
8e67127d-8b76-4498-8525-d9adc21e6faa
Berline, Léo
4d89b5ea-6ced-418b-a576-47957b05e04e
Dutay, Jean Claude
23a44c2e-4b06-4260-85a0-3f66184ee3fc
Mayot, Nicolas
8e7f791a-51d2-4863-8b86-eea2dc1c7d74
Nieblas, Anne Elise
8498df58-b020-4f04-9069-84d52f9407d1
D'Ortenzio, Fabrizio
6274a2d5-4d65-4697-b30d-c4a2893b112c
Palmiéri, Julien
c4144cfc-08f6-403c-a16a-d6f17a88e0be
Reygondeau, Gabriel
76140d67-7bc7-4e5d-b4c0-e6a18889d5f6
Rossi, Vincent
98d46452-970a-4565-b87c-198de8e0bd86
Guieu, Cécile
7789bc2c-9e89-4971-bee3-ffc87e967bab

Ayata, Sakina Dorothée, Irisson, Jean Olivier, Aubert, Anaïs, Berline, Léo, Dutay, Jean Claude, Mayot, Nicolas, Nieblas, Anne Elise, D'Ortenzio, Fabrizio, Palmiéri, Julien, Reygondeau, Gabriel, Rossi, Vincent and Guieu, Cécile (2018) Regionalisation of the Mediterranean basin, a MERMEX synthesis. Progress in Oceanography, 163, 7-20. (doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2017.09.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Regionalisation aims at delimiting provinces within which physical conditions, chemical properties, and biological communities are reasonably homogeneous. This article proposes a synthesis of the many recent regionalisations of the open-sea regions of the Mediterranean Sea. The nine studies considered here defined regions based on different, and sometimes complementary, criteria: dynamics of surface chlorophyll concentration, ocean currents, three-dimensional hydrological and biogeochemical properties, or the distribution of organisms. Although they identified different numbers and patterns of homogeneous regions, their compilation in the epipelagic zone identifies nine consensus frontiers, eleven consensus regions with relatively homogeneous conditions, and four heterogeneous regions with highly dynamical conditions. The consensus frontiers and regions are in agreement with well-known hydrodynamical features of the Mediterranean Sea, which constrain the distribution of hydrological and ecological variables. The heterogeneous regions are rather defined by intense mesoscale activity. The synthesis proposed here could constitute a reference step for management actions and spatial planning, such as the application of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and for future biogeochemical and ecological studies in the Mediterranean Sea.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 13 October 2017
Published date: 1 April 2018
Keywords: Biogeochemistry, Circulation, Epipelagic ocean, Management, Mediterranean Sea, Mesoscale features, Regionalisation, Spatial planning

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421495
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421495
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: 1864b8a5-525e-4ba2-93cf-d16b8c67bc0a

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Date deposited: 14 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 24 Sep 2018 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Sakina Dorothée Ayata
Author: Jean Olivier Irisson
Author: Anaïs Aubert
Author: Léo Berline
Author: Jean Claude Dutay
Author: Nicolas Mayot
Author: Anne Elise Nieblas
Author: Fabrizio D'Ortenzio
Author: Julien Palmiéri
Author: Gabriel Reygondeau
Author: Vincent Rossi
Author: Cécile Guieu

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