Marine forests are biodiversity-rich ecosystems engineered by key structural taxa of macroalgae, seagrasses and corals. They provide many ecosystem services for humanity, however, they are disappearing at unprecedented rates.
The loss of these marine forests is a catastrophic event, causing loss of ecosystem services that are essential for humanity, including 1) nursery and feeding grounds for many marine species, 2) coastal protection against erosion, 3) counteracting climate change by carbon sequestration.
Yet, out of sight and challenging to reach, below the ocean surface, marine forest restoration is rare, despite massive scales of degradation. RESTORESEAS aims to improve resilience of restoration of marine habitats in the Atlantic coasts, by applying novel nature-based solutions.
Seagrass meadows are more efficient in carbon sequestration (per area) than terrestrial forests.
With RESTORESEAS we will bring novelty on how to protect and restore marine forests. We will test, for instance, critical restoration efforts needed to reverse tipping points; we will work on a global scale with real data from many partners and use modelling approaches to create unprecedented predictions of restoration and conservation needs for adaptive traits to be considered in policy planning. We will widely integrate citizens and stakeholders in marine restoration to add educational value and ensure upscaling in space and long-term results.
Ester Serrão, coordinator of the RESTORESEAS project
is a full Professor at the University of Algarve and leads a research team at
CCMAR (Centre of Marine Sciences, in Faro) working on Biogeography, Evolution and Conservation of Marine Biodiversity
For policy makers
My name is Emma. I am pursuing a master in ecology and evolution, and was lucky enough to become a part of the RESTORESEAS project.
With the ability of building complex 3D habitats, corals as sessile animals harbor high levels of biodiversity, similar to plants on land. While iconic ecosystems like tropical coral reefs and seagrass meadows occur in light-flooded zones of the ocean, deep coral...
The Centre of Marine Sciences in Faro (Portugal) is working with local stakeholders, especially fishing communities, to develop effective tools for the restoration of temperate coral habitats occurring from 30-200 m depth.
Visitors of the Natural Hisotry Museum in Vienna got to “restore” corals at a coral restoration station, during the annual event of the Long Night of the Museums.
To discuss efficient methods to analyze DNA, several RESTORESEAS partners got together to exchange expertise and foster cooperation.
The team at Ghent University wants to boost restoration efforts for golden kelp by supplementing juvenile kelps with probiotics.