The comprehensive study of marine benthic ecosystems started in the middle of the previous century (1950-60), focused at an early stage on the Mediterranean Sea. The pioneers of the research center of Marseille set the methodological groundwork of this scientific field, to be followed thereafter by a great worldwide endeavor for the exploration of benthic communities. The early, fundamental knowledge laid the ground for new enquiries about the development of a scientifically documented method to analyze and assess the state of marine coastal ecosystems. The creation and mathematical processing of adequate databases to simulate the dynamics of marine ecosystems is another objective imposed by international directives (WFD 2000/60) and the original convention for the biodiversity conservation of Rio (1992).
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