Work Package 3: Refinement and testing of SMAATIE

WP3 Leader: Dr Fiona Devaney (

The objectives of this WP are to:

3.1   Finalise list of water bodies for which saltmarsh monitoring is needed

The SMAATIE project produced a preliminary list of water bodies which would require WFD monitoring for saltmarsh by using current extent. It was strongly recommended however that future work additionally used Potential Saltmarsh Area (PSA) to define this list as it may otherwise be biased by excluding water bodies with high degradation or loss of previous saltmarsh habitat. The preliminary list will be revised by calculating PSA for all coastal and transitional water bodies following the procedure in Devaney & Perrin (2015).

3.2   Record data on under-recorded saltmarsh communities

3.3   Refine tool and methodology

SMAATIE will be revised taking into account outputs from objectives 1.5, 2.4 and 3.2. Refinements to the tool itself may take the form of new metrics or amendments of existing metrics. The relevant weighting of metrics within the tool will then be reviewed. Survey methodologies will be proposed in light of these outputs ensuring that field procedures are relevant to both WFD and Habitats Directive requirements.

3.4   Field test the tool and methodology at a selection of contrasting sites

Approximately 15 sites will be selected and will be clustered by water body (from the revised list produced in objective 3.1) so that there is sufficient recording for a meaningful Ecological Quality Ratio (EQR) assessment to be made at the water body level. The selection procedure will ensure inclusion of different categories of saltmarsh (sandflat, bay, estuary, lagoon and fringe). Fieldwork will include recording of all evident pressures.