From the Microbiome to the Ecosystem: Unraveling the Effects of
Marine Protected Areas on Ecosystem Services through the Lens of
CONTEXT - Preserving marine ecosystems is a crucial priority as they support the livelihood and well-being of millions of its citizens (human food provisioning, water purification, disease regulation, cultural values etc). Despite their importance, these ecosystems and their food chains are nowadays jeopardized by numerous environmental alterations, such as climate change, overfishing, invasive species, species extinction, and habitat fragmentation.
OBJECTIVES - The METRODIVER project and its research team participate actively to the international effort for marine ecosystem preservation. More specifically, this project aims to investigates how to efficiently preserve and restore marine food webs. It will notably determine the effects of protection strategies such as marine protected areas on marine food webs. Beyond this first objective, the project will also determine if these effects allows better results in terms of ecosystem services. Its conclusions will directly help local and international authorities to build up better conservation strategies.
PRACTICALLY - Combining a multi-level approach (community, population, microbiome), cutting-edge techniques and a large scale analysis (10 European MPAs), the METRODIVER project aims to answer three pivotal questions: What are the effects of MPAs on the trophic diversity and food web functioning? How do these effects mediate ecosystem services (e.g. productivity) and animal health (e.g. growth, bodycondition)? To what extent do they contribute to provide healthier food for human societies (e.g. nutritional value of fish flesh)?
What are the effects of protection on tophic diversity and food web functioning?
Leader: CRIOBE (Fr.)
Methods: Use underwater images to determine trophic diversity and model the effects of marine protection on tropic diversity and food web functioning
Keywords: Undervisual visual census, ECOPATH-ECOMSIM, modelling
What are the effects of protection on trophic inputs and outputs?
Leader: GMIT (Ire.) & CRIOBE (FR.)
Methods: Determine the effects of protection on:
Trophic input: using otoliths stable isotopes for reconstructing fish diet. Collaboration with Dr. Peter Grønkjær.
Trophic output: considering fish flesh nutritive value.
Keywords: Stable isotopes d13C d51N, otoliths, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals
What are the effects of protection on gut microbiome diversity?
Leader: ULB (Bel.) & CRIOBE (FR.)
Methods: Determine the effects of protection on fish gut microbiome diversity
Keywords: gut bacterial community, 16S, metagenomics
GMIT - Ireland
This project has been made possible with the help of 4 European partners that we thank warmly.
BiodivERsA is a network of national and regional funding organisations promoting pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and offering innovative opportunities for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. BiodivERsA is funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme.
AGENCE NATIONALE DE LA RECHERCHE
The National Research Agency (ANR) is a French public administrative establishment, placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The Agency implements the funding of research projects, for public operators in cooperation with each other or with companies.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
GMIT’s involvement is funded under the EPA Research Programme 2014-2020. The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. It is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has the statutory function of co-ordinating and promoting environmental research.
FONDS DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
The purpose of the Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.–FNRS) is to develop fundamental scientific research within the framework of initiatives presented by researchers. It encourages the production and development of knowledge by both supporting individual researchers, and also by financing research programmes conducted in the laboratories and facilities mostly located in the universities of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
DISCLAIMER: Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material contained in this website, complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor the authors accept any responsibility whatsoever for loss or damage occasioned or claimed to have been occasioned, in part or in full, as a consequence of any person acting or refraining from acting, as a result of a matter contained in this website.
The first results of the study are expected by the end of 2021