Forecasting and responding to ecological, social and economic impacts of environmental effects on European speciesInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Working group
Start Date: April 4, 2017
End Date: April 5, 2017
Venue: Marine Biological Association of the UK, Citadel Hill, Plymouth
Contact: Dr. Nova Mieszkowska,
E-mail: nova [at]
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2016 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Funds Granted: €7,500

Manager(s): Nova Mieszkowska
Co-organiser(s): Lisandro Benedetti Cecchi, Michael Burrows


To predict future changes in species distributions, novel combinations of modelling, field and laboratory data are required to produce forecasts at spatio-temporal scales relevant to individual organisms, but across large spatial scales required for predicting biogeographic shifts and vulnerability hotspots. This technology is not currently openly available to researchers within the EuroMarine Network or wider European marine research community.


  1. The Working Group will form a focal discussion point for leading researchers to discuss and learn novel scientific advances in the modelling of biogeographic distributions, changes to species distributions due to climate change and additional anthropogenic stressors, and the potential for integrating species interatctions, that are relevant to European coastal marine ecosystems, and the policies and directives governing their management and use.
  2. The Working Group meeting in Plymouth in 2017 will train researchers from EuroMarine and non-member institutes on mechanistic Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) techniques.
  3. Attendees of the Plymouth meeting will be provided with the mechanistic SDM model code developed by the workshop organizers and instructions on the use of the model code to determine the distribution of a target species.
  4. Attendees will gain information on Best Practice in the collection of input parameters for environmental and biological variables, and receive both online and face-to-face training and advice from experts within the organizing committee and invited researchers who are worldleading in this field. Participants will also work to expand the range of species for which the model can be run, responding to demand from the European scientific and policy communities by increasing the applicability across a range of indicator species selected to monitor Good Environmental Status for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and OSPAR Assessments, for which predictive models are not currently available.

Expected Outcomes

  1. ForeSEE will engage experts from within and outside the EuroMarine network to provide a standardized, robust modelling approach for the prediction of current and future changes in the biogeographic distribution of coastal marine species of both ecological and commercial importance within European marine ecosystems.
  2. A position paper will be written by the workshop team and workshop attendees.
  3. Euromarine ForeSEE Working Group member researchers will be trained in the use of the mechanistic Species Distribution Model that they can subsequently apply to their key species of interest within European marine ecosystems.
  4. The organising team will actively communicate the Euromarine workshop and outputs via their institute websites, twitter accounts and additional online media sources to the Euromarine scientific community.
  5. The Working Group will regularly disseminate outputs and progress to the European policy community via existing national and EU contacts, membership of science-policy boards and networks, and via the EuroMarine website news section.

Workshop participants ©Nova Mieszkowska

The two day workshop was focused on the prediction of future changes in the distributions of intertidal species of ectotherm and macroalgae, using novel combinations of modelling, field and laboratory data to produce forecasts at spatio-temporal scales relevant to individual organisms, and scaling these results up across large spatial areas required for predicting biogeographic shifts and vulnerability hotspots. The expertise of the workshop attendees covered a range of field and laboratory experiments, large-scale monitoring of rocky intertidal systems, physiological Dynamic Energy Budget, fractal behavioural, Species and Community Thermal Index, Velocity of Climate Change, Quantitative Dynamic Maps of species abundance, performance and distribution for current and future climate change and mechanistic Species Distribution modelling tools. The Working Group are writing a manuscript for submission to Biology Letters and have started constructing a grant application for a future Horizons 2020 call.



  • (Feb 2017): A working group was created to address challenges in environmental impacts, and their effects on European species.
  • (Oct 2017): Application for Call 6 of the Interreg2seas programme to tackle the knowledge gaps in climate change impacts research being prepared.
  • (Mar 2019): A publication stemming from the working group was published in the Marine Ecology Process Series:
    • Mieszkowska N, Benedetti-Cecchi L, Burrows MT, Mangano MC, Queirós A, Seuront L, Sarà G (2019) Multinational, integrated approaches to forecasting and managing the impacts of climate change on intertidal species. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 613:247-252.