MaCoBioS (Marine Coastal Ecosystems Biodiversity and Services in a changing World)

Project Details


In the context of the COP21 Paris Agreement and the COP14 of the CBD and their main objectives, protecting and developing natural assets such as ecosystems biodiversity has become of critical importance to face and to adapt to climate change in a cost-effective manner.

Climate change has been largely studied and predictive models become more and more accurate, and forecast higher temperature rise than initially predicted. With such important changes, ecosystems are at risk of reaching their tipping points much sooner than anticipated with potential dramatic cascading effects.
It is now recognized that biodiversity is a key component of ecosystems resilience to changes as it provides some form of plasticity indispensable to face such changes at the ecosystem scale. Studying ecosystem biodiversity contribute to identify their safe operating spaces, in other words the extent to which they can cope with climate changes through species adaptation.

Furthermore, biodiversity is related to the productivity and richness of services provided by ecosystems. However, this relationship evolves according to spatial scale and little is still known of the exact nature and spatio-temporal dynamics of this relationship.

Though considerable efforts have been made in order to investigate these topics, most studies have remained on the theoretical and conceptual level mainly because of the novelty of some of the concepts involved and the lack of adequate methodologies. In addition, very few of these studies have considered altogether the inter-relations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Considering the complexity and the more limited accessibility of its ecosystems, this is especially true in the marine realm.

Marine coastal ecosystems are of vital importance for human health and well-being. Indeed, as of 2017, according to the UN, about 40% of the world’s population was living within 100 km of the coast, representing ca. 2.4 billion people. Furthermore, fish represents a major source of animal protein (up to 50% and more in least-developed countries) while 97% of fishermen live in developing countries where fishing was their major sources of food and income. Also, marine ecosystems, especially vegetated ones (seagrass beds, mangroves, saltmarshes, kelp forests, etc.), are well-known carbon sinks with a key role in climate regulation mechanisms on Earth.

Consequently, the main objective of the MaCoBIOS project will be to improve the knowledge base on inter-relations between biodiversity, climate change and marine coastal ecosystems services, and ensure effective, integrated and evidence-based management and conservation strategies for European marine nature capital including its outermost territories. In order to achieve this goal the project will focus on 4 specific objectives:
• SO1: Investigating and modelling interactions and feedbacks between climate change and marine biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services.
• SO2: Investigating and modelling the vulnerability of biodiversity and ecosystems functions and services under climate change scenarios.
• SO3: Evaluating the effectiveness of nature-based solutions in enhancing the adaptation and mitigation strategies.
• SO4: Policy options and formulation (using SO1-3).

MaCoBioS will be based on the best available science as well as on the best practices and lessons learned from policy measures and conservation strategies, represented by the experts of the consortium gathered to answer this call. Finally, another innovative aspect of the project is the careful selection of comparable marine coastal ecosystems carefully selected among climate change hot spots, along a gradient of ecological regions (3 Case Study regions under different climatic regimes: tropical, Mediterranean and oceanic/sub-polar) and for which temporal data series are available.
Short titleMaCoBios
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/05/24


  • European Commission: £865,187.00