Paper published:

The Knowledge Status of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Services - Challenges, Limitations and Lessons Learned From the Application of the Ecosystem Services Approach in Management
The concept of ecosystem services (ES), first introduced in 1970’s, gained mainstream attention in 2005, when the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment formally proposed a definition for it. In spite of this attention, many aspects about the ES concept have remained controversial to date, i.e., their classification, value, generation, link to human well-being, and supportive role as management tool. This review explores the knowledge status of ecosystem services, focusing on those services generated in coastal and marine environments (CMES). A knowledge gap and an underdevelopment of tools to assess CMES is evident in the literature, especially when compared to the progress done in the assessment of land ES. Possible explanations reside on the yet small proportion that the research done on CMES represents for the ecosystem service framework (ESF), in part due to the intrinsic challenges of researching the marine environment, also due to the limited availability of spatial data on marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, the ES concept is getting more attention toward policy-makers and stakeholders, leading to the implementation of an ecosystem services approach (ESA) to the management and protection of CMES. Six lessons are rescued from the literature to improve the ESA: (1) integration of the ESA in a science-policy process; (2) more simplicity for the CMES prediction models; (3) move toward empowering of stakeholders; (4) integration of the value pluralism of CMES with less focus on money; (5) the link of ES to Human Well-being must not been forgotten; and (6) communication of results and social literacy are key.

Paper published:

Revealing environmentally driven population dynamics of an Arctic diatom using a novel microsatellite PoolSeq barcoding approach
Ecological stability under environmental change is determined by both interspecific and intraspecific processes. Particularly for planktonic microorganisms, it is challenging to follow intraspecific dynamics over space and time. We propose a new method, microsatellite PoolSeq barcoding (MPB), for tracing allele frequency changes in protist populations. We successfully applied this method to experimental community incubations and field samples of the diatom Thalassiosira hyalina from the Arctic, a rapidly changing ecosystem. Validation of the method found compelling accuracy in comparison with established genotyping approaches within different diversity contexts. In experimental and environmental samples, we show that MPB can detect meaningful patterns of population dynamics, resolving allelic stability and shifts within a key diatom species in response to experimental treatments as well as different bloom phases and years. Through our novel MPB approach, we produced a large dataset of populations at different time-points and locations with comparably little effort. Results like this can add insights into the roles of selection and plasticity in natural protist populations under stable experimental but also variable field conditions. Especially for organisms where genotype sampling remains challenging, MPB holds great potential to efficiently resolve eco-evolutionary dynamics and to assess the mechanisms and limits of resilience to environmental stressors.