Ecosystem dynamics
Key Ecosystem Dynamics for Marine Spatial Planning

Marine ecosystems consist of a mosaic of interconnected sub-systems. For instance, productivity generated by a local upwelling can influence mangroves separated by ten to hundreds of kilometres. Physics determine the exchanges between these subsystems (e.g. the transport of larvae from the spawning ground to the nursery ground, or current-driven fluxes of nutrients from nutrient-poor to nutrient-rich systems) and complex hydrological and environmental processes influence the life cycle of marine species, governing their spatiotemporal distribution patterns (Bertrand et al., 2014), and shaping both faunal assemblages and the ecosystem processes they drive. The integrity of one sub-system can thus determine that of another one. A human decision made in one place can have a dramatic impact on a distant marine sub-system. Management policies, which today are fragmented, need to take the physical and ecological connectivity between sub-systems into account.

To address this requirement, we will proceed in four steps.

  • In Task 2.1, we will summarise current knowledge on tropical ecosystem dynamics to identify the gaps, threats, and the most appropriate indicators of resilience.
  • In Task 2.2, we will identify and collect available knowledge, data and models on key ecosystem dynamics at play in the case study countries (Brazil, Cape Verde and Senegal).
  • In Task 2.3, we will assimilate and incorporate the information collected and selected in T2.1 and T2.2 in a mutual georeferenced information system.
  • In task 2.4, we will propose ecosystem scenarios in each case study area on the basis of the innovative use of data and models.

Practical information for MSP will consist of: (i) outputs of ocean models which describe current dynamics and predict sea level rise and erosion; (ii) Ichthyop (Lett et al. 2008) Lagrangian model outputs to study the advection of particles and organisms (in particular eggs and larvae); (iii) isotopes and contaminant tracers to account for trophic and pollutant transfers; (iv) spatio-temporal distributions of habitats, communities and biodiversity, resulting in maps based on molecular, satellite and acoustic data; and (v) GPS-tracking of megafauna and fishing boats (Bertrand et al., 2015). All this information will be summarized on cartographic platforms (GIS) and the MSP toolbox (WP5).


Task 2.1 | State of the art and knowledge gaps

 July-August 2017  State of the art Northeast Brazil part 1 
 September 2017  Part 1 - GPS tracking and artisanal fisheries in Senegal
 Sept.-Oct. 2017  Trophic ecology, biodiversity and connectivity in north eastern Brazil
 February 2018  State-of-the-art of coastal ecosystem dynamics in the trocipal Atlantic region
 March 2018  State of the art Northeast Brazil part 2
 Marc 2018  Prospection of Seabird colonies on the Barlavento Islands
 July 2018
 July 2018
 August - October 2018
 September 2018

Task 2.2 | A data-based review of critical ecosystem dynamics

August 2017 First ecosystemic acoustic course
September 2017 First Fish acoustic around Fernando de Noronha (FAROFA 1) survey
September 2017 On mission: fishing vessels and sea birds GPS tracks
November 2017 Exploring the potential of the RESEX concept for sustainable use of coastal ecosystems
Oct. Nov. 2017 Preparation of a course on marine megafauna and movement ecology
Sept. – Dec. 2017 Oceanographic data from the surveys ‘Acoustics along the Brazilian coast’
February 2018 Selection and classification od stakeholders for mapping, Cape Verde
March – June 2018 Second Fish acoustic around Fernando de Noronha (FAROFA 1) survey and paper writing
June 2018 Survey on seabirds' colonies
June 2018 Ecology of benthic species fished by women communities in the Saloum Delta
August 2018 Assessing the impact of harmful dinoflagellates on mangrove oysters
September 2018 Lecture about data integration on artisanal fisheries in Brazil
September 2018 Part 2 - Mangrove sample processing, Senegal
Sept – Dec 2018 Second course on ecosystem acoustic in Brazil, data mapping and writing publications
Sept - Dec 2018 Lecture on ecosystem ecology in Recife
April 2018 Bird tracking and MSP in the case study of Fernando de Noronha
January 2018 GPS tracking and artisanal fisheries in Senegal - January 2018
January 2018 Data collection in Cabo Verde
August - September 2018 Developing theorical and pratical hydroacoustic training
June 2018 Franco-Brazilian study on protozaon parasites of oysters
July 2018 Collecting information on marine ecosystem functioning , July 2018
February 2019 Collecting data on environmental issues and human presure, Brazil
February 2019 Part 2 - Connectivity of mangroves with adjacents ecosystems, Brazil
May 2019 Part 2 - Connectivity of mangroves with adjacents ecosystems, Senegal
June 2019 Analysing data on biodiversity and ecosystems, Cape Verde
June 2019 Data collect on local stakes, Cape Verde

Task 2.3 | Mapping ecosystem structure and dynamics

September 2017 Trophic ecology, biodiversity and connectivity in north eastern Brazil
February 2018 Preparation of a joint publication "review of marine ecosystem dynamic across Southern Atlantic"
Nov. 2017- Feb. 2018 Processing and analysing the biologging data collected
May- July 2018 Part 3 - GPS tracking and artisanal fisheries in Senegal
June 2018 Length-Based methods for population studies and stock assessment
August 2018 PhD research activities study on tuna behaviour using pop-up tags
September 2018 Research in Recife and Field work in Noronha
September 2018 Part 1. Integrated approach to obtain key ecosystem information for Marine Spatial Planning
December 2018 Spatial aspects of habitat connectivity and trophic ecology
February 2019 Part 3 - Theoretical and field course on mangrove ecology, mangrove field sampling Brazil
Feb. -April 2019 Third Fish acoustic around Fernando de Noronha (FAROFA 3) survey, report and paper writing
March 2019 Part 2. Integrated approach to obtain key ecosystem information for Marine Spatial Planning

Task 2.4 | Innovative use of data and models and ecosystems scenarios

June 2018 New methods and models for population and ecosystem studies
September 2018 Analysis of trophic structures in estuarine and coastal ecosystems in Pernambuco
November 2018 Marine megafauna and movement ecology, Brazil
Nov. 2018-Jan. 2019 Interdisciplinary data integration along Brazilian coast


Please find a tentative bibliography for this workpackage through this link.

Please find the related data library through this link, last updated on June 17th, 2019. 

Related missions