WP3 will focus on two main issues related to the restoration of macroalgal forests:

  • enhancement of transplantation methodology of Cystoseira habitat-forming species to areas in which the macroalgae is documented and the causes of their decrease are known;
  • limitation of herbivory, by mean of actions minimising the effects of grazers, to support the recovery of macroalgal beds

Whilst herbivory rates have been identified as a key determinant of their survival, our current knowledge comes from outside an applied restoration context and is limited to small spatial scales.

Furthermore, it is also unknown how these interactions change in different ecological contexts and how these affect the effectiveness of restoration measures. By conducting pilot examples and joint actions across the Mediterranean Sea (Albania, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia), WP3 will investigate how restoration success varies across different environmental frameworks with the aim to identify general mechanisms that can be utilized in future policies.

The main objectives are to: 

  • investigate interactions between biotic or abiotic conditions and Cystoseira populations through field surveys and experiments, in order to identify key processes and mechanisms influencing restoration success;
  • identify key information and contextual information that can be used to increase the efficiency and success rate of future restoration actions; 
  • assess the feasibility of macroalgal beds restoration in terms of costs and benefits also including the role of passive restoration (i.e. within MPAs).

Co-leaders: Partner 2, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Simonetta Fraschetti) and Partner 9, University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali” (Sajmir Beqiraj)