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Introducing the MARS factsheets

August 7, 2015

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The MARS project has announced the publication of a set of factsheets designed to give brief, accessible introductions to some of the project’s key research areas and topics.  Much like this blog, the factsheets are intended to help make the project’s research and findings available to interested people and organisations.

The factsheets cover a range of topics, and can be accessed through the links below.

Factsheet 1: Multiple stresses and freshwater ecosystem service provision: the MARS ‘cookbook’ methodology

The MARS project assesses the impacts of multiple stressors on the provision of ecosystem services from freshwater ecosystems, under different climatic and land-use scenarios. The European Union FP7 funded project has developed an innovative new assessment methodology – termed a ‘cookbook’ – to allow scientists, environmental managers and policy makers to quantify the relationships between multiple stresses and ecosystem service provision and value. The cookbook provides an invaluable tool to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Europe.

Download / Open PDF

Factsheet 2: Freshwater Information Platform –

Over recent years, many European Union funded research projects have investigated freshwaters – ranging from biodiversity related projects to others focusing on pressures and their effects on European inland waters, including appropriate rehabilitation strategies. However, the data generated by these projects is often difficult for water managers, policy makers, scientific communities and the general public to access and use. In order to make this detailed and wide-ranging knowledge of freshwater ecosystems accessible to all, the Freshwater Information Platform was launched: an interactive website integrating results and original data stemming from finished, on-going, and future freshwater research projects.

Download / Open PDF

Factsheet 3: MARS scenarios and storylines

The multiple combinations of drivers and pressures for a given aquatic system for the current situation are shaped by its historical and present climatic, managerial and socio-economic conditions. The future combinations of drivers and pressures depend on the future climatic and socio-economic scenarios considered plausible for this system. Within MARS, scenarios and storylines are used to project the impacts of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems. They deliver a qualitative framework and, where possible, quantitative data for modellers to run simulations.

Download / Open PDF

Factsheet 4: Multiple stresses on Europe’s freshwaters: emerging challenges for science, policy and management

The interactions and impacts of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems is one of the key challenges for freshwater science, policy and conservation. Whilst there are many success stories of pollution being reduced on rivers and lakes across the continent, Europe’s freshwaters are still subject to multiple stresses, many of which are complex and poorly understood. In order to safeguard the health and diversity of Europe’s freshwaters, and the ecosystem services that they provide to humans, we need to better understand and manage the challenge of multiple stressors.

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We will explore some of the topics covered by the factsheets in coming weeks.  Please feel free to email us on if you have any questions, comments or any problems accessing the factsheets.

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