Presentation on theme: "Carlo Heip General Coordinator"— Presentation transcript:
1 Carlo Heip General Coordinator email@example.com The EU Network of Excellence MarBEF Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem FunctioningCarlo HeipGeneral Coordinator
2 Institutes and 36 associated institutes MarBEF Consortium56 memberInstitutes and 36 associated institutes●●●
3 What?A consortium of 56 member and 35 associated member institutes and organizations in 24 countriesCovering the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Balthic Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.Over 700 marine scientists involvedCovering all coastal EU countries
4 Why? Basic knowledge is missing We need that knowledge What marine biodiversity exists in Europe?What are the hot spots of European marine biodiversity?How do they change over time?We need that knowledgeTo understand how the oceans work.To develop ecosystem based management of living resourcesTo underpin nature conservation strategies
5 Results: A few Highlights Marine Biodiversity is increasing in European WatersRegional approaches are needed to support the EC Marine and Water Framework PolicyOver 31,000 marine species now known from European Waters.
6 Marine Biodiversity is Increasing in European Waters Despite increasing pressure from overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution, there are strong indications that marine biodiversity (species richness) on the whole is increasing in European watersThis is due to invading species and to a general northward movement of marine species due to climate changeThe long term impacts of these changes for the stability and resilience of marine ecosystems is not known. Their study will require better observations and new experimental approaches.
7 Overexploitation leads to decreasing numbers of top predators.Example: Bluefin Tuna caughtin the North Sea UK 1933 (upper two)Denmark (lower) The specieshas now disappeared completely.(MacKenzie and Myers, 2007)
8 Small southern species increase Species richnessFish Species Richness in the North Sea has strongly increased over timeSmall southern species increaseLarge northern species decrease their range
9 More species in the Arctic lowers productivity of the foodweb Over the last few years temperature in northern waters has increased (fig. 1.)In warmer waters the plankton is more numerous but smaller and richer in species (fig.2.)The increase in species richness decreases the productivity of the food web (more energy is needed to maintain lower trophic levels) (fig.3.)The highest levels of the food web (birds, seals, polar bears) therefore decrease in abundance.
10 Fig. 1. Water temperatures in the Arctic are increasing (Walczowski et al. 2007)
11 Fig. 2. At higher temperatures more but smaller plankton species occur. years4321temperature
12 Fig.3. Rising biodiversity in the Arctic may threat higher trophic levels
13 Lessepsian Migration has changed the Mediterranean The number of species from the Red Sea entering the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal (Lessepsian Migration) continues to increase.Biological communities especially in the Eastern Med have greatly changed accordingly.
14 Left: Sparisoma cretense: southern species moving northward in the Mediterranean Right: Rhopilema nomadica: jellyfish originating from the Red Sea, now a pest species in the Eastern Mediterranean (courtesy Nando Boero)
15 Which species matter?Unique experiments and analyses of biological communities from different coastal areas covering different habitats all over Europe have shown that the response of ecosystems to disturbance is not uniformRemoval of key species does not always affect stability of the ecosystemThe results show that effects depend on where, when and what species is removedOnly in the case of invading species removal resulted in increasing stabilityTherefore the regional approach advocated in the Water Framework and Marine Directive is fully justified
16 Over 31000 marine species now known from European waters The European Register of Marine Species (including only plants and animals) grew with 1,371 species since The list now totals 31,455 marine species in Europe, which makes this the best known continent thanks to efforts of hundreds of taxonomists and ecologists.More than 136 plant and animal species found since 2006 are new to science, but in the microbial domain the number of new ‘species’ has grown exponentially.
17 New species for science Marbefia a new genus of copepod (Crustaceans) from the North Sea.