Workshop on Rhodolith seabeds in the Macaronesia: Current status and future perspectives

To the right- Researcher from IU-ECOAQUA sampling a rhodolith seabed in Gran Canaria;To the left- participant identifying rhodoliths during the workshop.

The ECOAQUA Research Institute hosted an International Workshop about “Rhodolith seabeds in the Macaronesia: Current status and future perspectives” on February 21, 2016, through the project “Canary Islands Marine deep habitats: Structure and biodiversity of rhodolith seabeds” supported by The Canary Islands Campus of International Excellence – CEI -20-20162505-07).

The knowledge, definitions, and evaluation of rhodoliths beds have been far less studied in the Macaronesia, due mainly to their deeper distribution. This one day workshop tried to generate new ideas, synergies and potential research actions useful to understand rhodolith seabeds structure and composition, to determine their particular threats and to valorise their associated ecosystems services. The main discussions turned around the latest outcomes obtained during the CEI project, reflecting the high biodiversity of rhodolith habitats in Gran Canaria Island and the importance of the habitat complexity in relation to their associated biological communities. Other participants tackled other relevant issues related to rhodolith habitats, such as taxonomic problems and species diversity in the Macaronesia Region or the use of customized micro-sensors to measure the physiological status of these calcareous coralline algae. The debate was enriched by the presence of Dr. Viviana Peña (Universidad de A Coruña, Spain), Dr. Emilio Soler (Banco Español de algas, Spain) and Dr. Laurie Hofmann (NSF Ocean Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany).

In general, the rhodolith seabeds have been recognized as high biodiversity habitats, working as a nursery and sheltered places for commercial fish and invertebrates, as well as carbonate factories contributing to global carbon storage (“Blue economy”). However, their ecosystem services are not yet fully understood specially in the Macaronesian archipelagos. Besides, these habitats are affected b diverse human-made threats and pressures such as global change (acidification and temperature rise) and are known to be highly vulnerable to local human impacts such as eutrophication and towed demersal fishing activities.

Participants:

Viviana Peña (Universidad de A Coruña, Spain)

Laurie Hofmann (NSF Ocean Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany)

Emilio Soler (Banco Español de algas, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

Ricardo Haroun (IU ECOAQUA, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

Francisco Otero Ferrer (IU ECOAQUA, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

Fernando Tuya Cortés (IU ECOAQUA, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

 

Date
21/02/2017