What conservation problems?

Increasing evidence demonstrates that global change is already affecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In the marine realm, the main disturbances linked to global change are overfishing, pollution, mechanical habitat destruction, invasive species and, more recently, global warming. Coastal marine habitats are a focus of attention as they harbour high biological diversity, are among the most productive systems in the world, and present high levels of anthropogenic interaction. Biodiversity loss in coastal marine ecosystems is increasingly impairing the ocean’s capacity to provide ecosystem services such as food supply, maintain water quality and recreational benefits.

The main goal of conservation biology studies is to stop and reverse degradation trends in ecosystems. This is a major challenge for our society in the context of global change. Thus, the future of marine ecosystems depends on the implementation of innovative and meaningful research initiatives. The assessment of current and potential global change impacts is one of the main priorities of national and international research programs, and is the central aim of the MedRecover research team. Specifically, MedRecover studies the effects of overfishing, invasive species and climate change on rocky coastal ecosystems.