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Targeting a science-based approach to REd coral reSTORation in a climate change scEnario

Project description

Innovative techniques for red coral restoration

The Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum) is a species of great ecological and commercial value. However, overharvesting and climate change effects have caused its sharp decline. Red coral conservation is a priority under European legislation, but existing restoration methods face limitations. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the RESTORE project will pave the way to innovative nature-based restoration approaches harnessing ecological processes to foster red coral long-term and large-scale recovery and resilience to climate change. The project will provide advanced knowledge on positive species interactions recognised as potential enabling factors in enhancing coral larvae recruitment. The aim is to produce and test biofilms of selected isolated bacteria strains for coral restoration techniques in control and natural conditions.

Objective

RESTORE deals with the need to restore Corallium rubrum, the Mediterranean red coral, a species of great ecological and commercial value that is of priority for conservation under European legislations because in sharp decline due to overharvesting and climate change effects. RESTORE will pave the path to innovative nature-based restoration approaches harnessing ecological processes thereby underpinning red coral recruitment success to foster its long-term and large-scale recovery and support its resilience to climate changes, overcoming the limitations of the existing restoration methods (e.g. coral transplantation). RESTORE will provide advanced knowledge on positive species interactions - i.e. between coral larvae, coralline algae and their associated microbiome, which are recognized as potential enable factors to enhance coral larvae recruitment. Biofilms of selected isolated bacteria strains will then be produced and tested to be used in coral restoration techniques in both control and natural conditions. The effects of global warming on these positive species interactions, and as a consequence on coral recruitment success, will be experimentally assessed to provide threshold values to be integrated in mathematical modelling approaches that will be applied to predict climate refugee areas for red coral recruits and to spatially guide future restoration projects in the view of diverse climate change scenarios. A marked multidisciplinarity, i.e. in-field and experimental ecology, DNA-based techniques and bioinformatics, mathematical modelling, will boost RESTORE effectiveness through the application of cutting-edge techniques. RESTORE will deliver relevant outcomes to support restoration actions under the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Green Deal, and will provide an innovative approach potentially transferable and applicable to all Mediterranean corals, thus answering to the call for actions to support the urgent need of restoring the marine ecosystems.

Funding Scheme

MSCA-PF - MSCA-PF

Coordinator

SORBONNE UNIVERSITE
Net EU contribution
€ 195 914,88
Address
21 RUE DE L'ECOLE DE MEDECINE
75006 Paris
France

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
No data

Partners (2)