Dynamic of gelatinous plankton and impacts on planktonic biodiversity in the Western Mediterranean coastal areas: the GELAMED project (2010-2012).
Project funded by the MEEDDM (LITEAU Program) and the TOTAL Foundation
Several gelatinous plankton species are blooming more and more often in lagoons and coastal areas. These blooms modify the diversity and functioning of pelagic ecosystems and can result in significant impacts on human activities. The GELAMED project (2010-2012) is offering a 2 year spatio-temporal monitoring at 7 stations in 3 lagoons (Bages-Sigean, Thau and Berre) and 4 stations in the coastal waters of the Western Mediterranean. Bimonthly sampling will be realised at each site using similar protocols and sampling techniques. A qualitative and quantitative identification of planktonic organisms (from phytoplankton up to gelatinous zooplankton) as well as environmental parameters (salinity, temperature, Chla, etc.) will provide a better knowledge of which species are blooming and why in the Western Mediterranean coastal areas. An inter-site comparison will be carried out in relation to the degree of anthropogenic impact on the sites. A database will be set up and freely released in 2014.
The biological data will be coupled to some studies of the socio-economical activities in these areas to allow a better understanding of the consequences of these blooms for human activities. A socio-cognitive approach will also be led to establish, via surveys, the perceptions of these blooms in three kinds of population: socio-professionals (administrators of lagoons, fishermen, tourist operators), users (tourists and inhabitants) and local decision-makers (local elected representatives, agency of water, etc.). The date analysis should allow some recommendations of actions and\or communications with regard to the studied problem.
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