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Marine habitat restoration of soft bottoms (from shallow waters to the deep sea)

Semester 3

Ecosystem engineers play a key role in many coastal systems. In Europe some of the most valuable, but simultaneously rapidly disappearing ecosystem engineers include seagrass meadows (Zostera, Cymodocea, Posidonia), mussel reefs (Mytilus, Pinna, Serripes, Ostrea). One of the still poorly understood topics in ecosystem restoration is the interactions between engineering organisms. Although there are indications of critical links between plant and animal ecosystem engineers, these two components have mostly been studied in isolation, outside of an applied restoration context and limited to the small spatial scale. It is also not known how these interactions change along European coastal conditions and how this affects the effectiveness of restoration measures.
A specific session will be dedicated to Deep Sea threats and habitats restoration. A series of case studies coming from the EU project MERCES will be presented including the different methodological approaches.

- Soft bottoms ecology and focus on protected species and habitat
- Deep sea habitats
- The importance of facilitation processes
- Pressure analysis
- The assessment of soft bottoms and reconstruction of historical baselines
- Soft bottom restoration methodologies in shallow habitats
- Deep sea restoration methodologies