AtlantECO – Atlantic ECOsystems assessment, forecasting & sustainability

The EU-funded AtlantECO project aims to develop and apply a novel, unifying framework that provides knowledge-based resources for a better understanding and management of the Atlantic Ocean and its ecosystem services. AtlantECO will engage with citizens and actors from the industry and policy sectors in order to stimulate responsible behaviour and Blue Growth. The project focuses on three pillars of research: microbiomes, plastic and the plastisphere, and seascape connectivity. In pursuit of this goal, AtlantECO is bringing together experts and pioneers from Europe, South America and South Africa with the relevant resources, knowledge and experience.

Duration
48 months from 01/09/2020 to 30/08/2024
Funded by
  • European Commission

Coordinating organization
  • Stazione zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN)

CMCC Scientific Leader
CMCC Project manager
Division

General aims

General objectives

The aim of AtlantECO is to determine the structure and function of Atlantic microbiome in the context of ocean circulation and presence of pollutants, e.g., plastics, to assess its role in driving the dynamics of Atlantic ecosystems at basin and regional scales; its potential of being used as a sensor of ecosystem state and the mechanisms by which it drives the provision of 5 ES. This is key to improve our predictions on future provision of ES in the basin and to favour the establishment of a sustainable Blue Growth strategy for an All-Atlantic community. To realise this vision, AtlantECO has four objectives which are to 1) Assess dynamics of Atlantic marine ecosystems, their ES provision and the interplay of both with socio-economic activities; 2) Increase knowledge and data on microbiomes, plastics, the plastisphere and carbon fluxes that support ecosystems at basin scale using best practices and integrative sampling strategies, novel genomics, imaging and biogeochemical methods, bioinformatics and modelling approaches; 3) Assess and predict the cumulative impacts of multiple stressors on ecosystem status and dynamics and ES provision, identifying their drivers and role on tipping points, assessing their changes in recovery of ecosystem structures, functions and services, and developing eco-socio-economic models to predict future trajectories and 4) Deploy a systemic strategy to build capacity and transfer knowledge for a seamless engagement between science, industry, policy, and society. To achieve these objectives AtlantECO brings together experts and pioneers from Europe, South America and South Africa with the relevant resources, knowledge and experience.

CMCC role

  • CMCC contributes to WP3 to perform an economic assessment of carbon sequestration and provisioning services provided by selected ocean ecosystems;
  • CMCC participates in WP6 (Ecosystems connectivity and model predictivity) with the task to provide a validated set of present climate physical drivers (currents, temperature, etc.) of the whole Atlantic Ocean for Lagrangian simulations. Products will include coarse resolution hindcast and reanalyses as well as eddy-resolving products to explore the benefit of a very high-resolution modelling framework versus a coarser resolution system in connectivity processes;
  • CMCC contributes to the identification of the variability and dominant patterns of ecosystem stressors and drivers in WP7 (Drivers of change in marine ecosystems);
  • CMCC contributes to WP7 to specify scenarios trend for social and economic stressors which are relevant for ocean ecosystems;
  • CMCC contributes to WP8 to the economic assessment of changes in ecosystem services under evolving social economic and climate change scenarios applying macroeconomic modelling techniques

Expected results

The ambition of AtlantECO is to develop and apply a novel, unifying framework for providing knowledge-based resources to design policies, support decisions making and engage with citizens to encourage responsible behaviour.

Partners

1) STAZIONE ZOOLOGICA ANTON DOHRN (SZN)

2) EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH (ETHZ)

3) UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SAO CARLOS (UFSCAR)

4) COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES (CEA)

5) ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI OCEANOGRAFIA E DI GEOFISICA SPERIMENTALE (OGS)

6) EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY (EMBL)

7) UNIVERSIDADE DE SAO PAULO (USP)

8) UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA (UP)

9) UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT (UU)

10) UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN (UCT)

11) FONDATION TARA (FTO)

12) UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SANTA CATARINA (UFSC)

13) SINTEF AS (SINTEF)

14) ALFRED-WEGENER-INSTITUT HELMHOLTZ-ZENTRUM FUR POLAR- UND MEERESFORSCHUNG (AWI)

16) CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE (CNR)

17) CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS (CNRS)

18) COUNCIL FOR SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH (CSIR)

19) MARINE BIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (MBA)

20) PLYMOUTH MARINE LABORATORY LIMITED (PML)

21) SORBONNE UNIVERSITE (SU)

22) UNIVERSITAET BERN (UBERN)

23) NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE (NOC)

24) THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL (UNILIV)

25) UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA LA SAPIENZA (UNIROMA)

26) UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (USC)

27) UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION -UNESCO (UNESCO)

28) SEASCAPE BELGIUM (SBE)

29) EUROPEAN MARINE BIOLOGICAL RESOURCE CENTRE EUROPEAN RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE CONSORTIUM (EMBRC-ERIC)

30) EUROPEAN MULTIDISCIPLINARY SEAFLOORAND WATER COLUMN OBSERVATORY – EUROPEAN RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE CONSORTIUM (EMSO ERIC) (EMSO ERIC)

31) SOCIEDADE PORTUGUESA DE INOVACAO CONSULTADORIA EMPRESARIAL E FOMENTO DA INOVACAO SA (SPI)

32) OKOLOGIAI KUTATOKOZPONT (OK)

33) STICHTING NEDERLANDSE WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK INSTITUTEN (NIOZ)

34) UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DA BAHIA (UFBA)

35) UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO GRANDE-FURG (FURG)

36) AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS (CSIC)

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