Are MedIterranean Marine prOtected areaS efficient against wArming effects?


In this project, we want to fill the gap between the scientific knowledge regarding the ecology and evolution of coralligenous communities in the context of climate change and to improve the management actions focused on these communities in Marine Protected Areas. Accordingly this project with the support of the Foundation Prince Albert II of Monaco will have positive implications at three different societal levels.

First, the conservation of marine biodiversity facing climate change is a central concern for the scientific community committed to furnish sound knowledge for the implementation of international agreements such as Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and European directives. In this context, the integrated approach developed in this project will provide a significant increase to our basic knowledge regarding the ecology and evolution of Anthozoan species in the current environmental context. The project will therefore benefit to the whole scientific community.

Then, because of its implication for the conservation of important habitat forming species, the results of the project will directly benefits to the management of three studied MPAs. We will identify populations that require particular conservation attention and we will propose local and regional management actions to enhance the resilience of targeted habitats in front climate change. More particularly, the results of the project will enhance our abilities to preserve coralligenous communities in the on-going warming trend. In addition, we will use the obtained results to define new management conservation recommendations for the coralligenous facing the climate change at Mediterranean MPA network level. For this last activity, the project will benefit from international committees for biodiversity conservation such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the RAC-SPA (Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas) and MEDPAN (Network of Marine Protected Area in the Mediterranean). 

The project will have positive socio-economical impacts. Due to the important ecological role of the model species, their conservation will improve the conservation of associated species (e.g. fishes, crustaceans with a commercial interest) in the MPAs. 

Finally, the outreach activities will raise awareness on the climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems and on the conservation actions that should be undertaken in the framework of marine protected areas. These activities will be key in the promotion of effective actions fostering a healthier ocean and a sustainable development of our societies.