Biodiversity, defined as the variety of life on Earth at multiple scales of biological organization, from genes to species and ecosystems, underpins the provisioning of ecosystem functions and services essential for human well-being. Loss of biodiversity in response to climate change and escalating human disturbances drives unprecedented changes in natural ecosystems undermining their functioning and ability to supply ecosystem services. Assessing the status and trends of biodiversity is paramount to support regulators charged with implementing sustainable use of nature.
We co-develop What-if Scenarios
with marine practitioners across the EU. New, simpler indicators will
inform more holistic biodiversity assessments and frameworks for improving biodiversity monitoring programs. New fit-for-purpose data sets include long-term, broad-scale sampling, state-of-the-art bio-logging, laboratory and mesocosm data from experiments.
Cumulative Risks & Bio-
We test various assessment tools that can be used in a co-developed biodiversity risk framework by combining the information, knowledge and analyses developed earlier on in ACTNOW. We will apply this framework to assess the current biodiversity status in European waters and the associated risk, uncertainty/confidence.
under Multiple Drivers
We provide mechanistic knowledge for making quantitative predictions of how multiple drivers impact marine organisms by integrating information on the traits (physiology, movement, life history) of key species / groups. This includes essential habitats that increase sensitivity or reduce adaptive capacity. Our activities provide key building blocks for more complex, community- and ecosystem-level responses and indicators.
Synthesis, Impacts &
We provide projections of the changes in biodiversity across the Case Studies based on the indicators and tools developed in the project, the ‘what-if’ scenarios of climate change, and multiple drivers and human use of coastal and marine environments. Final tools and products are presented and the co-developed solutions within ACTNOW and from other programs are compared.
Community, Food-Web and Ecosystem
We utilize large-scale observational data and improved food-web models to identify and quantify cumulative impacts of drivers across higher levels of ecological organization and related indicators of Good Environmental Status. The robustness of indicators, cumulative impacts and thresholds will be thoroughly cross-validated before serving as input to risk assessments and projection modeling.
We will build strong networks of collaboration and communication and opportunities for training and education using fit-for-purpose tools and mechanisms. Dialogue with stakeholders, training courses and educational materials, and an array of outreach activities are therefore core activities of ACTNOW - and so is cooperation with related projects.
Our research will be carried out in 20 Case Studies
located in our 9 project areas.