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Climate Change and Future Marine Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity

Project description

Nature-based solutions for marine conservation

Marine and transitional waters support a large portion of the global biodiversity. Harbouring key climate-regulating processes and habitats, they contribute to worldwide food security, in addition to other valuable economic and well-being services and resources. The EU-funded FutureMARES project will deliver new solutions to climate change challenges. This highly multidisciplinary project will investigate socially and economically viable nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Solutions will include the restoration of habitat-forming species that can buffer coastal habitats from climate change effects and improve seawater quality. Conservation actions and sustainable, ecosystem-based harvesting (capture and culture) of seafood are also a project priority. Overall, the aim is to safeguard these ecosystems’ natural capital, biodiversity and services.


Marine and transitional ecosystems provide fundamental climate regulation, food provisioning and cultural services. FutureMARES provides socially and economically viable nature-based solutions (NBS) and Nature-inclusive Harvesting (NIH) for climate change (CC) adaptation and mitigation to safeguard these ecosystems’ natural capital, biodiversity and services. The program advances understanding of the links between species and community traits, ecological functions and ecosystem services as impacted by CC by analysing the best available data from monitoring programs and conducting targeted experiments and beyond state-of-the-art modelling. Ensemble physical-biogeochemical projections will identify CC hotspots and refugia. Shifts in the distribution and productivity of keystone, structural and endangered species and the consequences for biodiversity will be projected within different CC-NBS/NIH scenarios to reveal potential ecological benefits, feedbacks and trade-offs. Novel, social-ecological vulnerability assessments will rank the severity of CC impacts on various ecosystem services and dependent human communities. Complementary analyses at real-world demonstration sites will inform managers and policy-makers on the economic costs and tradeoffs of NBS/NIH. These physical, ecological, social and economic analyses will be integrated to develop two climate-ready NBS and one NIH: i) restoration of habitat-forming species acting as ‘climate rescuers’ buffering coastal habitats from negative CC effects, improving seawater quality, and sequestering carbon, ii) conservation actions explicitly considering the range of impacts of CC and other hazards on habitat suitability for biota to preserve the integrity of food webs (e.g. marine protected areas) and protect endangered species (e.g. charismatic megafauna), and iii) Nature-inclusive Harvesting (NIH) (capture and culture) of seafood. FutureMARES is co-developed with policy-makers and managers to ensure impactful and transformative cost-effective actions.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 729 425,00
3526 KV Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 729 425,00

Participants (35)