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Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation

Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation

Objective

The objective of SponGES is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use vulnerable sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic. The SponGES consortium, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration of research institutions, environmental non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, will focus on one of the most diverse, ecologically and biologically important and vulnerable marine ecosystems of the deep-sea - sponge grounds – that to date have received very little research and conservation attention. Our approach will address the scope and challenges of EC’s Blue Growth Call by strengthening the knowledge base, improving innovation, predicting changes, and providing decision support tools for management and sustainable use of marine resources. SponGES will fill knowledge gaps on vulnerable sponge ecosystems and provide guidelines for their preservation and sustainable exploitation. North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds will be mapped and characterized, and a geographical information system on sponge grounds will be developed to determine drivers of past and present distribution. Diversity, biogeographic and connectivity patterns will be investigated through a genomic approach. Function of sponge ecosystems and the goods and services they provide, e.g. in habitat provision, bentho-pelagic coupling and biogeochemical cycling will be identified and quantified. This project will further unlock the potential of sponge grounds for innovative blue biotechnology namely towards drug discovery and tissue engineering. It will improve predictive capacities by quantifying threats related to fishing, climate change, and local disturbances. SpongeGES outputs will form the basis for modeling and predicting future ecosystem dynamics under environmental changes. SponGES will develop an adaptive ecosystem-based management plan that enables conservation and good governance of these marine resources on regional and international levels.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Address

Museplassen 1
5020 Bergen

Norway

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 004 391,99

Participants (24)

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FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

United States

INSTITUTO ESPANOL DE OCEANOGRAFIA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 773 900

UPPSALA UNIVERSITET

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 674 547,50

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 496 209,51

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 491 922,50

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 434 125

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 1 274 693,75

BANGOR UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 318 711,25

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 136 477,50

UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 374 680

IMAR- INSTITUTO DO MAR

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 524 330

ECOLOGY ACTION CENTRE

Canada

STICHTING NIOZ, KONINKLIJK NEDERLANDS INSTITUUT VOOR ONDERZOEK DER ZEE

Netherlands

STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 400 301,25

HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM FUR OZEANFORSCHUNG KIEL

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 599 250

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 311 250

STUDIO ASSOCIATO GAIA SNC DEI DOTTORI ANTONIO SARA E MARTINA MILANESE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 208 750

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS FAO

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 366 250

ALFRED-WEGENER-INSTITUT HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR POLAR- UND MEERESFORSCHUNG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 40 000

DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY

Canada

HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM GEESTHACHT ZENTRUM FUR MATERIAL- UND KUSTENFORSCHUNG GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 170 000

THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

United States

STIFTELSEN NANSEN SENTER FOR MILJOOG FJERNMALING

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 140 512,50

CIIMAR - Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 254 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 679849

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 March 2016

  • End date

    29 February 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.

H2020-EU.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 10 275 365,25

  • EU contribution

    € 9 994 302,75

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Norway