The Mediterranean sea is home to a variety of coral species that are at risk of extinction because of climate change. Whilst marine protected areas (MPAs) are the best means of conservation of marine organisms, the effects of global warming appear to limit their effectiveness.
The Institute of Marine Sciences is launching a multidisciplinary project in three areas that are favourable to the development of so-called 'corallogenic' anthozoans (corals and sea anemones): the Medes National Park, and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Scandola Nature Reserve and the Zembra and Zembretta Islands National Park).
The aim is to develop an innovative method of managing MPAs to be based on scientific research. The project focuses on species sidelined by other management policies (that take into account the species of greatest economic interest). For the first time, the genes, physiology and position of the individual specimens studied are taken into consideration in order to adapt the management strategy to each MPA. The ultimate objective is to provide general directives to help improve the conservation of corallogenic species in MPAs affected by climate change.
Institute of Marine Sciences