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Keywords:

  • benthos;
  • definitions;
  • habitat;
  • biotope;
  • Habitats Directive

Abstract

  • 1.
    Problems with the classification system for marine ‘habitats’ are highlighted, which, ideally, should combine both comprehensibility and scientific rigour, being neither too simplistic nor so complicated that the system is accessible to only a few experts.
  • 2.
    The European Union's Habitats Directive has created multiple difficulties owing to the varied interpretations of the different European Community members trying to apply it. The problem is even more complex in the marine domain, where the difficulty of application has been greatly underestimated.
  • 3.
    Several areas for future applied research in the field of benthic ecology are proposed.

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.