Susanne Baden 1,2, Lars-Ove Loo 1,3, Tomas Lundälv 3, Per Nilsson 1,3
1) Department of Marine Ecology, Göteborg University, Sweden
2) Kristineberg Marine Research Station, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
3) Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory, Strömstad, Sweden

In this programme, we will use new technologies to collect information about, analyse and inform about marine habitats on the Swedish West Coast. Particular emphasis is put on rare or threatened habitats, e.g. eelgrass meadows and deep rocky habitats. The programme is composed of four projects. The first three will be run from Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory, while the fourth project is run by researchers from Kristineberg Marine Research Station.

1) Corals on the Swedish west coast
Using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) a detailed mapping of coral reefs and other biodiversity "hot-spots on the Swedish West Coast is done, including investigations on environmental conditions, dynamics, and threats to these biotopes. GIS will be used for analyses and for producing biotope maps. High-quality video recordings will be used to produce information films aimed at managers and the general public.

2) Marine biotopes in coastal zone management: GIS-based analyses
This purpose of this project is to collect available information about marine habitats in Sweden, to classify this material using the EUNIS habitat classification system, and to assess the protection status of different habitat types in Swedish waters.

3) The Aquascope: a web-based marine-biological information system aimed at schools
The objective of "The Aquascope" is to provide amusing, interesting and comprehensive educational material about the sea and the marine environment via the Internet. The web site addresses both teachers and pupils, but also the general public.

4) The ecological role of eelgrass in Swedish coastal waters
The purpose of this project is to clarify the ecological role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Sweden, especially focusing on the interaction between vegetation and fauna, but also on the possible reasons for the vanishing of the eelgrass in several areas on the Swedish West Coast.