ENGAGE2024-04-19T14:26:17+02:00
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Nature-based solutions using positive species interactions in seagrasses

Project vision

The project’s overarching vision is to understand and leverage the positive associations between seagrasses, invertebrates, and their associated microbial communities as nature-based solutions to address prominent societal and environmental challenges in coastal ecosystems.

It aims to contribute and promote the conservation and restoration of healthy seagrass meadows to mitigate the impacts of global changes and the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

nature based solutions

Nature-based solutions in seagrass-invertebrate systems, and our overarching working hypothesis. Working with and enhancing nature, by establishing nature based solutions involving positive species interactions rather than a single species, will have far-reaching consequences for responding to societal challenges and for our ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, ultimately safeguarding human well-being. Adapted from Seddon et al. 2018.

Increasing evidence suggests that positive interactions with invertebrates and the microbial community are vital to sustain seagrass ecosystems functioning and survival. Nonetheless, such species interactions received sparse attention so far.

In the ENGAGE project, we will focus on two study systems: i) Posidonia oceanica and the sponge Chondrilla nucula and ii) Cymodocea nodosa and the lucinid bivalve Loripes orbiculatus. In each of these model associations, we will assess whether the organisms alone vs the association can reduce levels of local/regional stressors, alone or in combination with global stressors, using in situ and mesocosm experiments. We will simultaneously investigate diversity and function of host-associated and free-living microbes, to evaluate their role in promoting the success of the association.

Project participants

The project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Research PRIN call 2022 – grant n.20223R4FJK. Three Italian research units collaborate towards testing the power of facilitative macro-micro interactions in seagrass ecosystems.

unica
szn
unipi

Meet Our Team

Meet the people who make the ENGAGE project possible.

Ulisse
Cardini

Coordinator

laura carugati

Laura
Carugati

Partner PI

fabio bulleri

Fabio
Bulleri

Partner PI

gabriele procaccini

Gabriele Procaccini

Participant

carlo pretti

Carlo
Pretti

Participant

mariella baratti

Mariella Baratti

Participant

Emanuela Dattolo

Participant

irene olivé

Irene
Olivé

Participant

matteo oliva

Matteo
Oliva

Participant

jessica pazzaglia

Jessica Pazzaglia

Participant

german zapata

German Zapata

Participant

Alice Blanckaert

Participant

Ella
Guscelli

Participant

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