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
Based on: Gouveia, A., Godefroid, M., Dubois, P., Espino, F., Tuya, F., Haroun, R., Herrera, A. and Otero-Ferrer, F., 2023. Thermal stress response of Antipathella wollastoni (Gray, 1857) from the Canary Islands archipelago. Coral Reefs, pp.1-7. In the cool, shadowy...
Ghent University has together with Digital Arts And Entertainment students from HOWEST, created an interactive experience that delves into the intriguing and enigmatic world of microbiomes. This unique game allows players to step into the shoes of bacteria living...
Based on: 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...
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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...
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