A multi-disciplinary consortium approach for advancement of conceptual frameworks, modelling and experimental approaches to benthic-pelagic couplingInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: May 18, 2015
End Date: May 19, 2015
Venue: Plymouth (UK)
Contact: Yuri Artioli
E-mail: yuti [at] pml.ac.uk
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2014 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €20,000
Funds Granted: €10,000

Manager(s): Yuri Artioli
Co-organiser(s): Cosimo Solidoro, Roberto Pastres, Nicholas Stephens, Gennadi Lessin

This foresight workshop, to be held at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in May of 2015, will discuss the development of better models to understand and build on or improve the knowledge of marine ecosystems in the benthic environment. Participants will address the complex questions of benthic-pelagic interaction and biological-chemical feedbacks in the benthic environment. The conceptual framework that will arise from the workshop will be a key tool to develop next generation models. Developing a fully updated conceptual understanding of benthic-pelagic coupling will set the priorities for next generation models of the benthic-pelagic interactions and their response to global stressors. Identifying key issues concerning the calibration and validation of models will inform experimental and observation approaches.

The workshop will see the foundation of a trans-disciplinary community working on the benthic ecosystem and benthic-pelagic coupling with the ability to develop a coupled modelling-empirical approach and train new generations of scientists. The participants will produce a joint review/position paper setting the state of the art in terms of benthic modelling and pelagic-benthic coupling, identifying limitations and all the feasible ways to bridge the existing gaps. New trans-disciplinary expertise of the participants and the involvement of both computational modellers and field scientists could seed a MSCA European Training Network aimed at training new generation scientists with a cross-cutting set of expertise combining modelling and empirical approaches.

The scope of the workshop was to discuss weaknesses of benthic-pelagic ecosystem models and how the wider research community could address these. Major knowledge gaps and possible ways forward were discussed by 13 participants, resulting in the identification of 5 priority areas for multi-disciplinary research to advance coupled benthic-pelagic models. These were: lability of organic matter, variability extreme events and recovery, scales and complexity, benthic primary production, and continuum of the benthic pelagic interface. A trans-disciplinary community with a broad range of capabilities has thus been formed, building on existing two-way collaborations.

An opinion/perspective paper summarising the discussion to widen the discussion to the broader scientific community is being drafted, and will be submitted to Frontiers of Marine Science. The paper will summarise the vigorous discussion and highlight the major challenges for next generation marine model ecosystems. A proposal has been submitted to IPSL to organise a second workshop, and the possibility of joint research activities in ongoing projects (H2020 STEMM-CCS) is being investigated. The workshop organisers will convene a session on advancements in benthic processes and benthic-pelagic coupling research at the next EGU Annual Assembly to extend the discussion to the broader scientific community. The opportunity of submitting a proposal for a training network (H2020 MSCA-ITN) on this topic was discussed; this raised a significant interest and is currently under evaluation.

Update Feed

October 20, 2017 - News - Update or Reminder - Consortium on Benthic-Pelagic Coupling: Perspective Paper Submitted