Projects by clusters
The Marine Biodiversity Cluster
The Marine Biodiversity Cluster consists of 16 projects involving 166 partner institutes and organisations. Most of the projects in the cluster are FP-5 projects, but some FP-4 projects have been included.
EU's total contribution to the cluster projects is 23.762.724 euro.
Under Key Action 3, marine biodiversity research aims at reducing the anthropogenic impact on biodiversity and the sustainable functioning of marine ecosystems, and facilitating the development of safe, economic and sustainable exploitation technologies. The goal is to reduce the impact of human activity upon biodiversity and sustainable functioning of marine ecosystems, and to develop technologies required to enable safe, economic and sustainable exploitation of marine resources.
The research currently funded is looking for strategies to minimise the loss of marine biodiversity; best-practice protocols for economic activities; capability to predict future environmental crises, development of strategies for dealing with anthropogenically caused environmental degradation; new technologies for research on marine resources and environment, including risk assessments.
The Cluster includes two projects already funded under the FP-4, EURAPP (Impact of Appendicularians in European marine ecosystems) and PICODIV (Monitoring Biodiversity of Pico-Phytoplankton in Marine Waters). The other projects comprising the Marine Biodiversity Cluster are: BIOMARE (Implementation and Networking of Large-Scale Long-Term Marine Biodiversity Research in Europe), M@RBLE (Electronic conference on Marine Biodiversity in Europe), MARBENA (Creating a Long-Term Marine Biodiversity Infrastructure in the EEA and the NAS), ALIENS (Algal Introductions to European Shores), EUMAR (European Marine Genetic Diversity), EUROGEL (EUROpean GELatinous zooplankton: Mechanisms Behind Jellyfish Blooms and Their Ecological and Socio-Economical Effects), MaBenE (Managing Benthic Ecosystems in Relation to Physical Forcing and Environmental Constraints), BASICS (Bacterial Single-cell Approaches to the Relationship Between Diversity and Function in the Sea), OASIS (Oceanic Seamounts: an Integrated Study), ACES (Atlantic Coral Ecosystem Study), MIRACLE (Microbial Marine Communities Stability: from Culture to Function), BIOCOMBE (The Impact of Biodiversity Changes in Coastal Marine Benthic Communities), EUROPHLUKES (Initiating a European Network to Develop a European Cetacean Photo-ID System and Database) and the EUROCAT/SPECIES 2000 database.
The projects are linked and form part of a package of RTD and Infrastructure projects that are relevant to better understanding the diversity of European marine ecosystems and its functioning. Consequently, an extensive exchange of information and increased coordination between the projects involved is encouraged. The European marine biodiversity research cluster could help synchronise European research efforts in the field, and enhance sustainability of the continent's seas and oceans. It brings together different approaches and disciplines as well as different stake-holders, researchers and end-users of the research results. A cluster may help ensure continuity and coherence in current marine biodiversity research methods, observations and data, reference materials and databases. It can also give visibility to the importance of the diversity of life forms and the maintenance of it in the very rich and different marine ecosystems Europe hosts, and help create strategies and policy options to safeguard these thus supporting EU biodiversity research strategy. Research funded will support EUs environment policy too, for instance, by way of contributing to the DG Environment's Marine Protection Strategy. It contributes also to the Common Fisheries Policy by producing information on sustainable exploitation of marine ecosystems. Clustering European marine biodiversity research also helps the EU act within the global framework of biodiversity agreements, initiatives and cooperation, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, DIVERSITAS, Species 2000, ICZM (International Coastal Zone Management) and the Census of Marine Life (CoML).