Funded by the ERANet Mar-Tera over 2018-2021, the SEAMoBB european project gathers a consortium of 3 academic partners and 2 enterprises from France, Italy and Spain with the objective of delivering a monitoring protocol for benthic marine biodiversity of rocky habitats (see map below). The aim is to provide scientific knowledge and practical tools to unlock the 3 barriers that prevented the development of marine monitoring networks for benthic habitats in general, and for hard bottoms in particular, by:
(1) Establishing rationale rules based on connectivity patterns to determine the network of sites to be monitored;
(2) Finding solutions to standardize the sampling of hard bottoms;
(3) Finding solutions to automatize and standardize species composition assessment.
The partners will combine physical oceanography, population genetics and community ecology to monitor 28 sites and compare methods for connectivity estimation, standardized sampling structures and species composition. Based on this, cost-effective protocols for long-term monitoring will be developed.