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Development of a DYnamic observation system for the assessment of MArine water quality, based on PHYtoplankton analysis (DYMAPHY)
Start date: Jun 30, 2008, End date: Jun 29, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

DYMAPHY aims to improve the assessment of the quality of marine waters in the 2 Seas area, through the study of microalgae (phytoplankton) and related environmental parameters at high resolution by employing a combination of traditional and new approaches, which could then be used by other regions. Partners, all specialists of marine environments or public authorities, decided to focus on phytoplankton as it represents the basis of all food chains in the sea, guaranteeing and sustaining the productivity of living resources and giving significant information on the environmental status of marine waters, and indications of short-term and long-term changes in water quality.To detect and react to these changes, partners will develop better-standardised procedures and greater automation in data analysis which can then be integrated into routing monitoring applications. Partners will first compare and calibrate existing tools for monitoring and analysing phytoplankton and environmental parameters. They will then log the monitored signals in a common database and then carry out sampling campaigns in the English Channel, North Sea and Estuaries of the 2 Seas area, to test their common procedures. Expected Results: What are the key results of the project?Partners will propose their best protocol to complete the operational procedures for phytoplankton analysis. Partners will produce;- A manual including the standard operational procedures to be applied regarding different types of water samples and environmental conditions, with examples of typical cytogrammes- Guidance on sample preservation for flow cytometry analysis- A proposition of quality control parameters based on the analysis performed,- Advice on comparing the cytogrammes with different instruments- A troubleshooting guide for using flow cytometry.A novel software will be set up for automatically identifying phytoplankton from cytogrammes. We will also improve the software already existing in terms of signature recognition of functional groups and species of phytoplankton.The automation will allow a more reliable analysis and comparison between different studies and will make it possible to get a better picture of the resources at a larger scale.Partners will;- establish a large library of cytogrammes from cultivated and natural samples species or phytoplankton functional groups- develop a database including a description of functional groups and species identification- provide advice on the implementation of the flow cytometry method that could be generalized at a national, European and international scale.Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results?Academic and research institutions involved in the project will benefit from the exchange of skills, human resource training, capacity building, and experience. The results and procedures will be disseminated and validated in international conferences and through scientific publications. The local and regional governments will benefit from the establishment of standard operational procedures that will be provided as a monitoring tool for environmental and water agencies. By defining common strategies and tools based on a common knowledge of the ecosystem dynamics, regional and environmental institutions involved in academic and operational research will benefit from improved decision making on marine water quality issues and living resources.Fishermen and shellfish professionals will benefit from the information on the respective average size and distribution of phytoplankton. On the other hand, information on the dynamics of the potentially harmful species will help in an early warning of harmful events that could impact shellfish farming.Finally, the population will benefit from more accurate and early information on phytoplankton dynamics in coastal and marine waters given phytoplankton affects goods and services and could be harmful for human activities. It will contribute to education acting as a pedagogical support for school and academic activities as well as for marine outreach institutions. The project will improve the public awareness of marine ecosystems health and marine waters quality.What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?The condition of the sea affects all regions and human activities around the “2 Seas” area. Currently, the assessment of the quality of marine waters is carried out by water management institutes which perform national and regional monitoring programs. Therefore, at the national level, the project partners will interact with networks that are currently devoted to the study of phytoplankton and marine water quality. The project will improve current methodologies and monitoring practices which are not equipped to deal with rapid environmental changes since sampling frequencies are in general too low and spatial monitoring coverage is scarce.The early detection of harmful species will benefit regulatory authorities, aquaculturists, (shell) fish farmers and the public. The present project will represent a more efficient and innovative cost-effective way of enhancing the monitoring capabilities and the observation strategies already existing in the three Regions. The project will create a consortium of different partners combining their facilities and scientific skills in order to be more effective in the monitoring changes in marine water quality, environmental status and phytoplankton dynamics. By increasing our understanding of marine ecosystem functioning, the partners will potentially participate in the identification of new marine protected areas.With a growing demand for establishing international policy instruments, the new monitoring strategies will contribute to an integrated vision and consideration of the cross-border maritime dimension.

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  • 50%   1 230 487,00
  • 2007 - 2013 2 SEAS (FR-UK-BE-NL)
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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