CORDIS - EU research results

Marine Coastal Ecosystems Biodiversity and Services in a Changing World

Project description

Evidence-based guidance for marine policy formulation

As the most complex feature of our planet, biodiversity provides us with a range of ecosystem services upon which we depend, such as food, freshwater, pollination and protection against floods. But it’s also in crisis. Knowledge on interrelations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services is key to preserving ecosystems and fully integrating environmental requirements into policymaking. Considering marine coastal ecosystems (MCEs), which are European priority habitats, the EU-funded MaCoBioS project will investigate the impact of climate change on the most important MCEs, such as seagrass beds and kelp forests. It will develop empirical models on interactions between climate change, biodiversity and functions and services of marine coastal ecosystems. MaCoBioS will also work to establish a framework to assess vulnerabilities and it will evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions. The findings will assist in EU strategies on MCEs, biodiversity and climate change.


The EU 2020 Biodiversity strategy and 7th Environment Action Programme highlight the importance of halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) by preserving ecosystems and fully integrating environmental requirements into policymaking to face climate change (CC). The main challenge to help the EU deliver on these targets is to fill knowledge gaps on inter-relations between CC, biodiversity and ES, and to ensure an effective transfer of knowledge to relevant stakeholders. Marine coastal ecosystems (MCE) are European priority habitats as almost half of its population lives in its maritime regions. MaCoBioS objective is to ensure efficient and integrated management and conservation strategies for European MCE to face CC. To this end, MaCoBioS has assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts to fill the lack of knowledge on the impacts of CC on the most important MCE (seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangroves, coralligenous and calcareous bio-concretion assemblages, salt marshes and kelp forests). Four specific objectives have been developed:
1) Develop new empirical models on the interaction between CC, biodiversity, functions and services in MCE along a geographical gradient from the tropics to the sub-polar regions, incorporating indicators of the ecological condition in the functional modelling of MCE.
2) Establish a framework to assess the vulnerability of marine social-ecological systems under CC scenarios. We will develop vulnerability indices specifically for that purpose.
3) Evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and protection measures at enhancing the resilience capacity of MCE and the delivery of services, with the end goal of providing long-term solutions to CC threats.
4) Provide evidence-based guidance for marine policy formulation and innovative research pathways to support policymakers in developing cost-effective strategies and create further research opportunities to meet the targets of EU strategies on Biodiversity and CC.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 038 224,84
PO1 2UP Portsmouth
United Kingdom

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South East (England) Hampshire and Isle of Wight Portsmouth
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 038 224,84

Participants (17)