WP2 - Restoration of marine, shallow soft bottoms habitats

WP2 will carry out field experiments in shallow soft bottoms habitats to investigate how restoration success varies across the European coastal systems with the aim to identify general mechanisms that can be utilized in future projects.

Specific objectives:

1) defining knowledge gaps in soft-bottom restoration and criteria for successful restoration of ecosystem engineers in Europe, in collaboration with WP1;

2) investigating ecological interactions between ecosystem engineers (bivalves, seagrasses) and other species through comparative field surveys and experiments in order to identify key processes and mechanisms influencing restoration success;

3) testing the applicability of results at a restoration site network encompassing different types of pressures;

4) providing indicators to assess the performance of suggested restoration measures as a function of multiple pressures.

As there are neither routines nor ongoing large-scale restoration programmes on this topic in EU, implementation of restoration protocols requires scales relevant to restoration programmes to be identified. To achieve this, WP2 will utilize numerical modelling, communication with researchers and managers involved in restoration to complement the testing of restoration methods, i.e. multiple sites across Europe.

Co-leaders: Partner 10, Åbo Akademi University (Christoffer Boström) and Partner 14, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Johan van de Koppel).