Testing an Invertebrate-Microbe-Plant association as nature-based solUtion to facilitate Posidonia oceanica resistance to Local and global StrEssors

Healthy Posidonia oceanica meadows are essential to sustain biodiversity and functioning of Mediterranean coastal systems. At the same time, increasing evidence suggests that positive interactions with invertebrates and their microbial community are vital to sustain seagrass ecosystems functioning and survival. Nonetheless, such species interactions received sparse attention in P. oceanica systems and are often not included in conservation and restoration plans.
In this project, we assess how the presence/absence of an association with an invertebrate partner (the sponge Chondrilla nucula) and its bacteria affect the productivity of the habitat-forming P. oceanica. Further, we investigate whether this association plays a role in carbon and nitrogen cycling by the system in response to seasonality.

  • PhD Student: Johanna Berlinghof

  • Supervisory team: Dr. Ulisse Cardini, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn; Prof. Christian Wild, University of Bremen

  • Funding body: Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, University of Bremen

  • Project period: 2021 – 2024

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