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Synchronous Regime Shifts Across European Seas


"Regime shifts are abrupt changes encompassing a multitude of physical properties and ecosystem variables, which lead to new regime conditions. Regime shifts can cause large-scale losses of ecosystem services with severe consequences for human well-being. Recently regime shifts have been documented for various marine ecosystems. Novel research has found that many of those occurred quasi-simultaneously, raising the question about global-scale environmental forcing. In particular, all European seas seem to have underwent regime shifts in the late 1980s (Conversi et al., 2010). Understanding such co-occurrence is key to differentiating the role of large/hemispheric scale (climate) impacts from local/basin scale (eutrophication, overfishing, etc) impacts. This differentiation is in turn essential for both addressing marine ecosystem protection strategies, and understanding the climate – biota relationship in global warming scenarios. The aims of this project are (i) to address, via a comparative, multi-basins approach, the large-scale synchrony in regime shift timing and its drivers, and (ii) to begin to address the development of prevention and mitigation strategies to be used in future ecosystem-based managements."

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The Laboratory Citadel Hill The Hoe Plymouth
PL1 2PB Plymouth
United Kingdom

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Gill Tanner (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 272 980