Marine Forests of animals, plants and algae: nature-based tools to protect and restore biodiversity

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Project coordinator: Prof. Ester Serrao -

Biogeographical Ecology and Evolution, Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) - Portugal

Zoology, Natural History Museum of Vienna Austria
Biology, Ghent University Belgium
Oceanography, Laboratory of Ichthyology, Federal University of Espírito Santo Brazil
Forest Protection and Wildlife Management, Mendel University Czech Republic
Marine Science, Senckenberg Society for Natural Research Germany
Biology, Chouaib Doukkali University Morocco
Freshwater and Marine Ecology, University of Amsterdam The Netherlands
Environment, Norwegian Research Centre Norway
Oceanograpy & Fisheries, IMAR/University of Azores Portugal  Azores
Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems, University of Las Palmas Spain - Canary Islands
Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg Sweden


The losses of marine forests are catastrophic tipping points accelerating the degradation of ecosystem services that are essential for humanity and all species. These services include nursery, shelter and feeding grounds for many species including providers of human food security, coastal protection, and counteracting climate change by carbon sequestration, for which seagrasses are one of the most efficient ecosystems on Earth. Yet, with these habitats being out of sight and challenging to reach, below the ocean surface, marine forest restoration is both rare and difficult to monitor. RESTORESEAS studies the biological and biophysical processes at stake of the key species involved in these hypotheses in the Atlantic Ocean, and their interactions to help determine the effectiveness of restoration and conservation action. The project aims to further the scientific understanding of the role played by specific, genetic and functional diversity in marine forest ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean, with a focus on seaweed, seagrass and corals. Building upon novel hypotheses, experimentation on propagation, indicators and global models will permit the assessment of the conditions for large scale conservation and restoration approaches.

Reference documents

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project and other projects funded in response to the BiodivRestore joint call consult:

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BiodivRestore funded projects booklet Download pdf

Keywords: deep coral, macroalgae, seagrass, kelp forest, climate change, circalittoral reef, thermal adaptation, clonal propagation, sexual propagation, genetic diversity

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published on 2021/10/15 11:29:00 GMT+2 last modified 2022-08-03T09:40:49+02:00