Main study sites
The MedRecover group works in several marine reserves and adjacent areas along Mediterranean coasts, mainly in Spain and France. The choice of reserves as study sites is fully justified by the fact that they are one of the main tools for conservation biology. Marine reserves provide a valuable reference of the state and functioning of marine ecosystems, as they are not subjected to most of the disturbances that affect many marine areas. Furthermore, the regulation of activities within these areas mean that studies can be designed that assess the effects of different type of disturbances and the effectiveness of management measures. Likewise, selected marine reserves are subject to varying environmental conditions: gradient from north to south, continent versus islands, and/or sites which have suffered different degrees of strong disturbances, such as mass mortality events and invasive species. Overall, the study of marine reserves enables us to carry out comparative studies, formulate hypotheses on the future evolution of ecosystems, and evaluate impacts at spatial scales that have rarely been examined in the past.
The main marine reserves in which MedRecover carries out its surveys are: the Natural Reserve of Scandola (Corsica), the National Park of Port-Cros (France), the Marine and Coastal Protected Area of Cap de Creus, the Marine Protected Area of Illes Medes, the Marine Reserve of North of Menorca, the Natural Reserves of Vedrà, Vedranell and the Illots de Ponent d’Eivissa, the National Park of Cabrera, and the Marine Reserve of Illes Columbretes (Spain).