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Influence of climate change on Mediterranean lagoons



Objective(s)

Climbiomednet aims to assess the impact of climate change on the biodiversity, goods and services of Mediterranean lagoons.

Project Description

Mediterranean ecosystems are amongst the most vulnerable to global warming, as coastal areas are particularly weakened by socio-economic development and increased pressure on water resources. Over time, serious risks – such as the destruction of coastal aquifers by saline intrusion, degradation of water quality and aquatic systems, reduced flow and drying out of humid areas – are likely to occur.
In this context, Climbiomednet’s objective is to reinforce theoretical knowledge about the link between climate change and the evolution of lagoon ecosystems. This new research will be compared with existing data, in order to develop experimental protocols which allow us to distinguishing on the one hand, the impact of climate change on Mediterranean lagoon ecosystems and, on the other, the impact of changes due to human activities.
By setting up a biological database on biodiversity in Mediterranean lagoons, Climbiomednet will work towards reducing the fragmentation of research currently available. It will provide a tool for understanding the relationship linking factors of climate change, ecosystem evolutionary process, and goods and services offered by aquatic ecosystems. In addition, it will contribute to the definition of the state of surface water and development of possible adaptation scenarios.

Workplan

The project is structured into four main actions:
  • WP1 is dedicated to Project coordination and management.
  • WP2 (Philosophy) is aiming at developing Dahlem‐type workshops on the understanding of pure climate change influence on Mediterranean lagoon community and ecosystem ecology.
  • WP3 (Organisation) is in charge on the implementation of a Mediterranean data‐base on the biodiversity of Mediterranean lagoons; particular attention will be given to phytoplankton and macrozoobenthos communities, fishery productivity and nursery areas.
  • WP4 (Ecological Inference) is focusing on the description of the existing relationships between temperature/salinity changes and structural and functional properties of Mediterranean lagoon ecosystems, using the space gradients as a proxy for the expected time gradient.