ExPERimental approaches towards Future Sustainable Use of North Sea Artificial HarD SubstratEs

Coastal areas are affected by a mixture of global change (warming and ocean acidification) and local pressures, induced by local human activity. In coastal areas around Europe, for example, there is an increasing trend towards the installation of offshore wind farms. This results in a drastic change of the marine environment, through the introduction of large surfaces of hard substrate in an otherwise sandy environment. It is to be expected that the resulting effects on the coastal ecosystem will be an integrated non-linear response to multiple changes. PERSUADE investigates the integrated effect of both global and local pressures on the functioning of the coastal ecosystem and the production of greenhouse gasses through a combination of ecosystem-wide and model-species experiments, modern genomic tools and ecosystem modelling.

Partners: Ghent University (BE), Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (BE), Flanders Marine Institute (BE), Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NL)