The Biology and Ecosystems Panel of GOOS adopted to identify Biology and Ecosystem EOVs was based on a Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) model.
Given the complexity of marine ecosystems and the challenge of selecting key variables that may properly address its changes, the process consisted of:
- Identifying the scientific and societal needs that require sustained biological and ecological oceanographic observations,
- Evaluating the existing time series and identifying information gaps,
- Studying the impact and feasibility of the variables being currently measured and how their monitoring would address societal needs
Societal drivers and pressures were extracted from the mission and mandates of 24 relevant international bodies and conventions. Drivers were clustered around four major groups:
- Sustainable use of biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, and knowledge, Environmental quality and threat prevention and mitigation
- Capacity building, sustainable economic growth, and ecosystem based management
- Food security
Major pressures identified were habitat loss, climate change, pollution and eutrophication, coastal development, invasive species, solid wastes, ocean acidification, extreme weather events, noise, and mining.
The feasibility, given by the current state of large-scale ocean biological observations was evaluated through an on-line survey which provided information on the temporal and spatial scale of observations of different biological variables being carried out for all marine taxonomic groups and marine ecosystems by more than 100 observing programs.
The impact of the variables was inferred through a literature search determining how many publications address each of the drivers and pressures for each of the variables in the marine environment.