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
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Conservation and restoration of marine forests, from deep sea coral reefs to seagrass meadows
What are marine forests? Marine forests are biodiverse-rich ecosystems engineered by key structural taxa of macroalgae, seagrass and corals. Depending on the keystone taxa, we can separate them in three main ecosystems: seaweed banks, seagrass meadows and coral reefs....
The importance of kelp microbiomes
Hello! I am Sofie, a PhD student at the University of Ghent, currently working on unravelling the role Laminaria ochroleuca’s microbiome plays in its growth and development. Laminaria ochroleuca, also known as the golden kelp, is a temperate brown seaweed species,...
Swimming amongst seagrasses
It’s mid-October in Sardinia, and the once packed beaches in the Summer, are bare and wild. It’s windy and not necessarily warm, but I can’t resist jumping in the water for a little snorkelling session in the crystalline turquoise waters Sardinia is known for. Me...
Citizen science for a healthy future
Humanity is at a crossroad, and if the correct path is chosen, a prosperous and safe future is still possible. For that to happen, society needs to make decisions based on what evidence suggests are the most efficient solutions for mitigating the climate crisis we are...
First steps to deep-sea coral restoration
When people think of coral reefs, they usually imagine warm, shallow tropical waters; not cold, dark deep ocean waters. But there are coral reefs living in the dark at the bottom of the ocean as well. They are hard to access and not as vibrant as their warm-water...
Workshop on microbiome analysis at CCMAR
Peter Kuperus and Gerard Muyzer from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) visited the Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) to give a hands-on workshop on microbiome analysis of marine organisms. The 16S rRNA genes of the microbiomes of different organisms and environments...