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Integrating new technologies for the study of benthic ecosystem response to human activity: towards a Coastal Ocean Benthic Observatory (COBO)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 505564

  • Start date

    1 March 2004

  • End date

    28 February 2007

Funded under:

FP6-SUSTDEV

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 889 410

  • EU contribution

    € 1 999 485

Coordinated by:

SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MARINE SCIENCE

United Kingdom

Objective

Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic perturbation, affecting biodiversity and ecosystem stability and resilience. Shallow water sediments and their associated biota represent a reservoir for biodiversity, hosting resting and reproductive stages of plank tonic organisms, and regulating carbon and nutrient biogeochemical cycles. However, the relationship between tightly coupled biological and geochemicalprocesses in this environment is poorly defined with respect to their temporal and spatial variability. The overall objective of COBO is to integrate emerging and innovative technologies from different disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, imagery) to provide in site monitoring of sediment habitats, a key component of coastal marine ecosystems, in order to understand complex interactions between the biota (function and diversity) and their chemical environment.
Existing technologies have limited spatial and temporal sampling resolutions and this has hampered progress in determining key parameters and in explaining biogeochemical patterns /processes and in modelling ecosystem dynamics. Improved in site technologies are required to provide rigorous scientific information on processes regulating this unique and fragile habitat and for assessing, controlling and minimising human impact on European coastal waters thus addressing societal need. Organism-sediment processes, with both enhancing and mediating effects, are still poorly understood in shallow water sediments that receive the bulk of anthropogenic disturbance. The combination of innovative instruments from the different disciplines will provide powerful tools to significantly advance our understanding of organism sediment relations under dynamic coastal conditions and enhance predictive capability. COBO represents a major step towards the development of permanently operating benthos observatories for coastal management.

Coordinator

SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MARINE SCIENCE

Address

Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory
Oban

United Kingdom

Participants (13)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

France

COMMISSARIAT À L'ÉNERGIE ATOMIQUE

France

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy

GOETEBORG UNIVERSITET

Sweden

KOEBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

MAX PLANCK GESELLSCHAFT

Germany

SEA ENVIRONMENTAL DECISIONS LTD.

United Kingdom

STIFTUNG ALFRED WEGENER INSTITUT FÜR POLAR-UND MEERESFORSCHUNG

Germany

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS ACTING THROUGH THE CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENT,FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE SCIENCE

United Kingdom

UNISENSE A/S

Denmark

UNIVERSITAET POTSDAM

Germany

UNIVERSITE DE LA MEDITERRANEE - AIX MARSEILLE II

France

UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN

United Kingdom

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 505564

  • Start date

    1 March 2004

  • End date

    28 February 2007

Funded under:

FP6-SUSTDEV

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 889 410

  • EU contribution

    € 1 999 485

Coordinated by:

SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MARINE SCIENCE

United Kingdom