This foresight workshop will address the need for improving the spatial extent and ecological context of data linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services, with a focus on seagrass beds.
The main objective of the workshop is to bring together 16 expert scientists to discuss best protocols for testing biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) and biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) links in seagrass habitats across temperate and tropical settings. The short term aim is to address methodological issues such as confounding factors that have limited the power of previous experiments, while the long term aim is to develop a European network of experts in BEF/BES research that will develop a comparative approach between temperate and tropical seagrass areas.
The workshop will identify research priorities from literature gaps, methodological issues in the state of the art approaches and best practices that will be addressed by the developing network. The outcome of the workshop will be a draft proposal with a research strategy for a European network on the management of seagrass systems and the establishment of a long-term collaboration with key European players in the field. This event will build on approaches developed during recent or current consortia such as Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability. With several regional and national institutes aiming to advance on this knowledge, the workshop will develop a multidisciplinary discussion that will contribute to these initiatives by providing a European-wide research strategy.