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Andrulewicz, E., Kruk-Dowgiallo, L., Osowiecki, A.. An expert judgement approach to designating ecosystem typology and assessing the health of the Gulf of Gdansk. In: Schernewski, G., Löser, N. (eds.). BaltCoast 2004 - Managing the Baltic Sea. Coastline Reports (2), pp. 53-61. 2004.


The Gulf of Gdansk is comprised of a number of different hydro-geo-morphological regimes that represent different ecosystem units - lagoons, bays, river mouths, and sheltered and open coastal areas. Several classifications of the Gulf of Gdansk exist and most of them are based on morphological and/or hydrological parameters (salinity, temperature, nutrients). The classification proposed in this paper places stress on the morphology and dynamics of water masses and thus on bottom sediments. The Gulf of Gdansk is subjected to different rates of anthropogenic pressure; this means that environmental quality status varies in the different parts of the coast. The following parameters were used in the quality assessments of different hydro-geo-morphological units of the Gulf of Gdansk: 1) sanitary conditions - number of coliform bacteria in a pre-determined volume of water, 2) phytoplankton - species composition, abundance and biomass, 3) macroalgae and angiosperm - species composition and biomass, 4) macrozoobenthos - species richness, composition and biomass, 5) ichthyofauna - information compiled from various sources in the literature, 6) basic hydrographic and hydro-chemical conditions - Secchi depth, temperature, salinity and oxygen. The quality status of different environmental units, assessed according to criteria proposed by the Water Framework Directive, versus the selected reference period of the 1950s, is assessed in four quality ranges (bad, poor, moderate, and good). This is assuming, as the present authors believe, that high status, which is due to excessive eutrophication, does not exist, even for open Baltic Sea water masses.

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