METRIC: Marine EcosysTem Responses In a multiple pressure Context

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2026
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Biogeochemistry
    • Marine ecology
    • Ecosystem services
    • Environmental management
    • Carbon sequestration science
biogeochemistry ecosystem functioning ecosystem services food webs marine ecology anthropogenic impacts
Project description

The pressure on marine ecosystems and their goods and services is increasing dramatically due to global change combined with anthropogenic activities (i.e. fishing, aggregate extraction, introduction of offshore wind farms to counteract climate change). Together, these pressures affect structural (e.g. density, diversity) and functional (e.g. biological trait composition, food-web topology) aspects of biodiversity, leading to changes in ecosystem functioning that may ultimately affect the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. However, our ability to predict the functional responses of marine ecosystems to multiple pressures is lagging behind.

This project will therefore investigate the relationship between marine functional diversity and ecosystem stability through a combination of experimental research and modelling approaches using existing ecosystem-wide databases on marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and environmental settings. Research will target biogeochemical cycling (proxy for ecosystem functioning) and food-web topology (provides clues to ecosystem stability), integrating data from the pelagic and benthic realm. These results will contribute to the emerging research field on the link between biodiversity and marine ecosystem services. As such, this project will directly link fundamental scientific research with societally relevant outcomes.