How may a deeper scientific understanding of local biogeochemical processes and ecosystem functional resilience to natural or anthropogenic stressors be applied to develop tools and resources to support more sustainable natural resource exploitation?
This is the central point of this theme, and feeds on the research carried within the group, a cross-cutting perspective that entails not only addressing the health status of an ecosystem but also the processes underpinning it, aiming toward the longer term goal of following potential shifts in ecosystem function with a view to protect services rendered on a global scale.
Research within this theme is organized around 6 main questions:
- Could increased functional knowledge on the biogeochemical reactivity of sands be applied to develop marketable decontamination techniques and systems?
- Does our current understanding of the benthic ecosystem at the interface of contaminated groundwater inputs from land and marine inputs enhance the ability to mimic natural attenuation potential on artificial settings?
- How may knowledge of differential transfer and transformation of elements through the benthic foodweb identify, describe and isolate organisms or microbial cohorts with high potential for bioremediation?
- How may we develop or improve tools to support cost-effective management and monitoring strategies?
- Does the benchmarking of new techniques and methodologies for the study of advection-dominated reactive benthic environments support development of marketable instrumental prototypes?
- Can improved knowledge of ecosystem function and resilience to environmental stress increase the sustainability of natural resource exploitation with particular emphasis on food products, and if so how?