Case study 2: Oil dispersants
The oil dispersant case study indicated high concern particularly for inlets, transitional waters and for coastal habitats (Table 5.2). This finding can be explained by the importance of these habitat types for the provision of certain ES (e.g. genetic resources, recreation and ecotourism) and the potentially short distance to the point of discharge. Oil dispersants may be applied to water environments like coastal and transitional (Section 4.2.1); thus a high level of potential exposure can be assumed. Overall, increased concern (medium + high) has been found for less habitat x ecosystem service combinations than in other case studies (e.g. oil refinery or down the drain chemicals). This is linked with the comparably lower impact of these types of chemicals on the considered ecosystem services and SPUs which provide them, respectively (cf. Table 4.2, Section 4.2). The potentially lower impact (Section 4.2.1) may be due to the limited temporal and spatial occurrence of oil dispersants in (mainly marine) water bodies.
Table 5.2: Oil dispersants – ecosystem services of concern with examples of SPUs involved in the delivery of potentially threatened services. Black: high concern;
dark grey: medium concern; light grey: low concern; white: negligible concern