Euro-limpacs Deliverables

ABSTRACT - DELIVERABLE 138

Marie Curie Training Network Proposal

A proposal for a Marie Curie Initial training Network (ITN) was submitted under The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development under the call FP7–PEOPLE–2007–1–1–ITN. This involved a number of Euro–limpacs partners (including the co–ordinator, UCL) as well as participants from outside the consortium. The primary objective of the proposal “BIO–INFORM” (Informing Biodiversity Management with Long–Term and Multi–scale Environmental Data) was to educate a new generation of scientists uniquely qualified to fill a number of key gaps in scientific knowledge that constrain decision making in terms of comprehensively appraising the current state of ecosystems. These gaps include;

  • An incomplete inventory of biodiversity at the species and genetic level and limited information concerning the distribution of many key species,
  • Knowledge of biodiversity trends falling far behind knowledge of status, due to a lack of well–documented, comparable time series,
  • Limited understanding of non–linear changes and of ecosystem characteristics that lead to threshold and irreversible changes
  • A poor understanding of the relationship of local to global processes
  • Little knowledge of how biodiversity responds to the interactive effects of different drivers in particular regions and across scales
BIO–INFORM sought to test hypotheses about the assembly and maintenance of biodiversity at different spatial and temporal scales (local via landscape to biogeographical and instantaneous via years to centuries), and to relate the results to conservation policy and practice. The systems and areas selected for research projects included freshwaters. The proposal recognised five main drivers of biodiversity change; habitat change, climate change, invasive species, over–exploitation and pollution and highlighted the limited knowledge of how biodiversity responds to the interactive effects of different drivers in particular regions and across temporal and spatial scales. The work programme included analysis of existing and new long–term and multi–scale data in more detail using multi–proxy and multivariate approaches to determine the relative importance of different drivers of biodiversity change. As such BIO–INFORM could have been expected to make a significant contribution to Euro–limpacs by advancing knowledge of the response of freshwater ecosystems to interactions between climate and other drivers of change, in an area which is not specifically part of the Euro–limpacs work programme.

The proposal was not successful. Further information available from Martin Kernan (mkernan@geog.ucl.ac.uk)

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