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Climate effects on the deep-sea ecosystem functioning of the Mediterranean Sea (CEFMED)
Start date: Sep 19, 2013, End date: Sep 18, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Scientific evidence is now overwhelming that climate change is a serious threat to marine ecosystems requiring urgent global response. Warming trends in the atmosphere and in the upper ocean temperatures have occurred and have caused profound changes all over the globe. Recent evidences suggest that the structure and dynamics of deep-sea ecosystems can change radically and deep-sea ecosystem functioning may change in relation to biodiversity. The deep sea responds dynamically to environmental changes. Shifts in upper ocean temperature intensify stratification, reduce vertical mixing and can affect the variability in primary production and carbon export flux to the deep sea. However, while there are close linkages between benthic, pelagic and climatic processes, it is difficult to predict the impact of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems. There is a need to understand how our oceans function, how they are changing and how they may be impacted byclimate change so that appropriate management actions can be executed on European seas. The general aim of the present project is to provide a comprehensiveinsight about the link between climate induced change and deep-sea ecosystems, capitalising on existing research efforts at the Mediterranean Sea. The results of this project will provide the background knowledge for planning of future resource management and define the best strategies for sustainable use of deep-sea resources.
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