Species and habitats often have variable distribution and condition in space and time. Some are particularly dynamic such as those in transitional and intertidal waters that span the land and sea. Variability occurs over many different times scales from seasons to multi-year cycles and decades.
Temporal changes however, remain a challenge for management, particularly separating the different sources of natural variation including seasonal change or multi-year cycles like the North Atlantic Oscillation from human influences on natural variation including climate change impacts, or direct human induced variability. Similar challenges exist in defining the bounds of variability and accounting for the associated uncertainty in decision making.
This requirement is for mechanisms to describe temporal variability, differentiate sources and apply these to priority species/habitats. It will also examine how best to incorporate such temporal variability within marine management approaches.