Marine Coastal Ecosystems Biodiversity and Services in a Changing World
The EU 2020 Biodiversity strategy and 7th Environment Action Programme highlight the importance of halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) by preserving ecosystems and fully integrating environmental requirements into policymaking to face climate change (CC). The main challenge to help the EU deliver on these targets is to fill knowledge gaps on inter-relations between CC, biodiversity and ES, and to ensure an effective transfer of knowledge to relevant stakeholders. Marine coastal ecosystems (MCE) are European priority habitats as almost half of its population lives in its maritime regions. MaCoBioS objective is to ensure efficient and integrated management and conservation strategies for European MCE to face CC. To this end, MaCoBioS has assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts to fill the lack of knowledge on the impacts of CC on the most important MCE (seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangroves, coralligenous and calcareous bio-concretion assemblages, salt marshes and kelp forests). Four specific objectives have been developed:1) Develop new empirical models on the interaction between CC, biodiversity, functions and services in MCE along a geographical gradient from the tropics to the sub-polar regions, incorporating indicators of the ecological condition in the functional modelling of MCE.2) Establish a framework to assess the vulnerability of marine social-ecological systems under CC scenarios. We will develop vulnerability indices specifically for that purpose.3) Evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and protection measures at enhancing the resilience capacity of MCE and the delivery of services, with the end goal of providing long-term solutions to CC threats.4) Provide evidence-based guidance for marine policy formulation and innovative research pathways to support policymakers in developing cost-effective strategies and create further research opportunities to meet the targets of EU strategies on Biodiversity and CC.