The EuroMarine foresight workshop 3DSeaFor: Developing Technology and Methods for the Precise Investigation of Marine Animal forest 3D-Structural Complexity is running a one-day online videoconference in order to begin discussions on topics which will comprise the Foresight Workshop in the autumn of 2020.
Due to impediments caused by Covid-19, the organisers have made some adjustments to the scheduling of this workshop:
Marine coastal areas host highly productive ecosystems that are threatened by the high rate of urban development in these areas and associated stressors affecting ecosystem processes. An integrated and effective assessment of the state of marine coastal ecosystems must rely on the knowledge of all human pressures at different levels of biological organization. This includes microbiomes, which have been re-evaluated as a ‘bank of hidden biodiversity’, with fundamental, albeit still unknown, functional potential capable of opening up new frontiers in scientific knowledge.
A major challenge facing humanity and the ocean’s health is the degradation of marine environments due to the release and accumulation of a wide range of environmental toxicants, mainly of anthropogenic origin. These include endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), metals and nano/microplastics and other emerging contaminants, all of which pose possible risks for wildlife and human health through either direct exposure or accumulation in the food web.
Research on ecosystem connectivity has traditionally relied on species dispersal (structural connectivity), although this is only one of the many uses of space that allow species to connect different environments. Such long-term movements, typically occurring once along the species life-cycle, relate mostly to population connectivity, and are generally used to describe the spatial structure of populations and, in few cases, their demography.
Biodiversity is an enigmatic yet important factor for the accuracy of ecosystem modelling. The inclusion of living organisms is necessary for models that predict carbon usage and circulation, while capturing complex networks of feeding interactions across trophic levels is important for describing the functioning of ecosystems and their potential response to climate change. Links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are examined in biodiversity ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments, yet upscaling their predictions to natural communities is not straightforward.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are proliferations of certain photosynthetic organisms (including unicellular phytoplankton and phytobenthos, macroalgae, cyanobacteria, and particular ciliates) that can cause massive fish kills, produce toxins that bioaccumulate in seafood, and/or cause ecological damage through the development of hypoxia/anoxia and other habitat alterations.
Due to Covid-19, the organisers have decided to postpone this event to a later date. They are currently assessing options for suitable dates in either the second half of 2020 or else next year. This activity will be updated with the finalised date once it has been decided.
Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and the array of restrictions imposed across Europe, the organisers have decided to postpone the EFIMBA FWS until October 2020. The exact date will be announced once it has been decided.
Due to Covid-19 and the resultant postponement of the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2020) until July 2021, this Euromarine-funded foresight workshop has also been postponed until 2021. ECoMeS had been specifically designed to follow after ICRS 2020, and so the organisers have decided to subsequently delay the FWS until that symposium is held.