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
Tavares, A.I., Assis, J., Larkin, P.D., Creed, J.C., Magalhães, K., Horta, P., Engelen, A., Cardoso, N., Barbosa, C., Pontes, S. and Regalla, A., 2023. Long range gene flow beyond predictions from oceanographic transport in a tropical marine foundation species....
In a short research project, Kaïn van Calcar, a BSc student at the University of Amsterdam, investigated the role of oomycetes in the decline of seagrass meadows. Seagrass meadows are essential for providing various ecosystem services, including acting as habitats for...
The recent ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain was an exciting platform for researchers to delve into the fascinating realm of host-microbiome interactions and their role in protecting and restoring marine ecosystems. As the chair of the...
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....
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,...
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...