Organized by the SCICOM Steering Groups on Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics (SSGEPD) and Ecosystem Pressures and Impacts (SSGEPI).
Marine ecosystem management, including conservation and potential restoration, goals are often defined by historical baselines, i.e. conditions that occurred prior to a particular period of human disturbance. The ICES Science Plan specifically addresses this need: 'Develop historical baselines of population and community structure and production to be used as the basis for population and system level reference points'.
This session aims to review the state-of-the-art in the availability of information on historical baselines and the methodological challenges associated with interpreting historical data, accounting for the different characteristics of different ecosystem components, and the effects of human activities. In addition, major research gaps, both in terms of data needs and methodologies, will be identified and discussed.