Human cultural transitions impact on the marine ecosystem
Marine conservation strategies often rely on highly changed ecosystems where the level of human impact is ignored. The EU-funded SEACHANGE project proposes a structured and systematic method for reconstructing marine ecosystem baselines, aiming to assess the impact of anthropogenic cultural transitions on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The project aims to identify how depleted the marine environment actually is compared to a time prior to large-scale human involvement and assess the necessary measures for and rate of marine biodiversity recovery. It will study two major issues: first, the nature of long-term changes in the prehistoric period over 3 000 years in northwest Europe. Second, the loss and changes to ecosystem functioning due to fishing intensity during the last 2 000 years in the North Sea and around Iceland, Australia and the West Antarctic Peninsula.
Fields of science
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