Project Profile: MARISCO

Marine Research and Innovation for a Sustainable management of Coasts and Oceans


Principal Investigators: Helmut Hillebrand, Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg, Germany
Partners: Benjamin S. Halpern, University of California Santa Barbara, United States
Amanda Lombard, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Sponsors: Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany
National Research Foundation, South Africa
National Science Foundation, United States


Full Project Title: Marine Research and Innovation for a Sustainable management of Coasts and Oceans
Full Call Title: Oceans2018


Project Objective: Understanding consequences of human actions for coastal and ocean sustainability has become a cornerstone of environmental research and policy making. Traditionally, this is achieved in the context of analyzing the direct and indirect impacts of anthropogenic drivers on the sustainable use of marine resources. Direct impacts are associated with changes in mean and variance of abiotic conditions (e.g., warming, acidification), whereas indirect impacts are mediated through the consequent changes in marine biodiversity. However, biodiversity change is a multidimensional process and rarely characterized by simple changes in emergent community properties such as species richness. Ecosystems have complex patterns of immigration and extinction dynamics, temporal turnover of composition, changes in the identity/proportion of dominant species, spatial homogenization and functional biodiversity changes, all of which resulting in novel interaction networks and processes. Successful strategies for marine ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation must therefore incorporate this complexity. This is all the more important because different aspects of biodiversity change can impact society and Nature's Contributions to People (NCP). As for biodiversity, NCPs comprise a multitude of system properties, e.g., the size of a standing stock (biomass, harvest), the process rates affecting this stock (e.g., CO2 sequestration), the temporal stability and resilience of stocks and rates, or their predictability or invulnerability to change. Working with four partners from four continents, MARISCO will globally address the multilayered interactions between biodiversity change and NCP. MARISCO combines interdisciplinary approaches to data synthesis in globally distributed, well-monitored regions, with modelling of positive and negative feedback mechanisms between different aspects of biodiversity and NCP. Based on a stakeholder-science co-design, and combining natural and social science approaches the project will i) produce the knowledge necessary for defining targets in sustainable marine ecosystem management, and ii) develop the strategies and tools to help implement management approaches that address pressing socio-ecological consequences of human impacts on marine biodiversity.
Call Objective: This CRA call aims to contribute to the overall challenge of ocean sustainability, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) as the overall framework. This call encourages global partnerships of academics and non-academics to address one or more of the following topics: 1) Pathways toward a sustainable and equitable use of oceans, 2) accounting for and minimizing impacts of global change.


Countries: Germany, South Africa, United States of America (USA)


Duration: 50 Months
Call Date: 29 October 2018
Project Award Date: 12 February 2020