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Atlantic ECOsystems assessment, forecasting & sustainability

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AtlantECO (Atlantic ECOsystems assessment, forecasting & sustainability)

Período documentado: 2020-09-01 hasta 2022-04-30

The aim is to determine the structure and function of Atlantic microbiome in the context of ocean circulation and presence of pollutants to assess its role in driving the dynamics of Atlantic ecosystems at basin and regional scales; its potential use as a sensor of ecosystem state; and the mechanisms by which it drives the provision of 5 Ecosystem Services (ES). This is key to improve our predictions on future provision of ES in the basin and inform a Blue Growth strategy for Atlantic communities.
To realise this, AtlantECO has 4 objectives:
Assess the status of ecosystem structures, functions, health and services at regional, basin and all Atlantic scales and provide high quality gridded data products and maps
Enhance knowledge and Innovate by adopting standard optical and genetic observations protocols, cutting-edge network analysis methods, and better parameterisation of connectivity and biogeochemical models.
Assess drivers and stressors of change and forecast their impact on tipping points and recovery of ecosystem structures, functions and services, and develop eco-socio-economic models to predict their future states
Share and use capacity and knowledge across the continents bordering the Atlantic Ocean ensuring a seamless engagement between science, industry, policy, and society.
During the first 20 months, we:
Completed the assembly for the AtlantECO-BASE1 database on the basins’ microbiomes & microplastics and the pipeline for AtlantECO-MAPS1 (maps for management).
Prepared standards for Zenodo, AtlantECO’s GeoNode and EMODnet Biology.
Made microscopy data (PHYTO- and ZOOBASE) publicly available; integrated additional data from CPR, Malaspina, Tara Oceans, AMT, COPEPOD, KRILLBASE, JeDI. Biomass data conversions under development. Prepared the plastics dataset within AtlantECO-BASE1. Carbon flux dataset assembled from sediment traps and Uranium/Thorium measurements, UVP particle size distributions, with a web application to visualize the data.
Created a metagenome collection data from Tara Ocean, GO-SHIP, GeoTRACES, Malaspina, OSD-14, AMAZON and others in MGnify (AtlantECO superstudy).
Published imaging dataset and data included in ECOTAXA; preparing an automatic mapping for machine learning species distribution modelling.
Created a Handbook of Standards and Best Practices, disseminated to the scientific community and used in the field and capacity building & training activities.
Started sampling activities in the Atlantic. Launch of the first regular Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) line in the South Atlantic. First AtlantECO flagship cruise, Mission Microbiomes (Tara Ocean Foundation), covers most of the South Atlantic coastal regions, with 1000s of traditional and -omics samples collected.
Enhanced TRL of high-res sensors for microbiome monitoring: 1) testing of the particle sampler and imaging sensor (UVP6-LP) on free-floating and moored sediment traps; 2) genomic autosampler (RoCSI) and genetic sensor. Trials scheduled for exploitation in aquaculture facilities.
Released an All Atlantic multi-year high-resolution, validated numerical ocean simulations for connectivity studies. First map of physical connectivity with environmental filtering between biogeographic regions.
Improved the biogeochemical model PISCES for better projections, with new parametrisations of multiple limitations. Developed a first module of the Lagrangian biogeochemical model.
Started the identification of the Atlantic ecosystems drivers and stressors: marine extreme events (compound events) and dominant patterns of ecosystems’ variability.
Investigated the Particulate Organic Carbon export mechanisms from bio-argo profilers and metagenomes.
Provided a genomic-based biogeography in present and future environmental conditions, including impact on carbon exports and secondary production.
Established the microbiomes interactome, with new network inferences, to highlight the ecosystem vulnerabilities to environmental change; field measurements for network validation.
Identified scenarios describing the socio-economic drivers and stressors.
Developed a new theoretical framework for combining niche modelling with genome-based information.
Defined the use of the Ocean Health Index (OHI) in the Atlantic Sea; focus on OHI goals “fishing opportunities” and “clean waters”. Organised a synergy workshop on Ecosystem Services on OHI. Approaches for embedding socio-economic and cultural aspects in fisheries and carbon sequestration services defined and data gathered.
Defined the meaningfulness of indicators to achieve a common language in international frameworks (EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Marine Biodiversity Observation Network and GOOS).
Established presence on social and traditional media.
Organised multiple events in Brazil, Argentina and South Africa with local schools, public communities, policymakers and scientific communities; an exhibition to inspire the younger generation to engage in marine science careers.
Started the ocean literacy toolkit for secondary school teachers with UNESCO principles applied to the Atlantic Ocean. Engagement made with local stakeholders to consider local needs.
Established the forum of early-stage researchers (ESR) in AtlantECO; performed an All Atlantic training gap analysis. Trained ESRs from the EU, America and Africa on AtlantECO’s standards using hands-on courses, workshops and hosting ESRs in the project cruises.
Identified priorities for policy briefs. Established a multistakeholder database with key players in marine sciences and Blue Growth.
Implementation of the Belém Statement via a new scientific community involving Europe, South Africa, Brazil (and other countries as collaborators) engaged in multidisciplinary studies for a new unifying framework for assessing and forecasting. Synergies also with our partners’ ERCs projects and with All Atlantic EU sister projects (e.g. preparation of a special issue on understanding and protecting Atlantic ecosystems).
Professional training in the marine sector from many countries on latest state-of-the-art techniques/methods. A new cohort of >40 interdisciplinary scientists.
Establishment and dissemination of advanced standards for monitoring the health status of ocenic microbiomes, including microplastics.
Increased EU leadership in ocean technologies (e.g. sensor prototypes for monitoring)
Connected sequencing centres in Europe, South Africa and Brazil for standardisation and knowledge transfer, supporting future joint programs.
Assess ecosystem status: several All-Atlantic new databases for scientific exploitation and multistakeholder applications, all FAIR-compliant. New analytical techniques for big, heterogeneous data.
Contributed to the creation of the global Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network, a programme of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and to the EuroGOOS working group on biological observations.
Mission Microbiomes expedition (Tara Oceans Foundation): a synergy with public and private actors of the Atlantic on oceanic regions where most of the blue economy activities occur. Sampling co-designed to reduce gender gaps and exclusion.
Ocean-engaged citizens: during our flagship expedition around the Atlantic traditional and social media reached hundreds of thousands of people. A new Ocean Literacy dedicated to the Atlantic microbiomes.
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