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Dutch title: Studie en modellering van de interactie tussen eutrofiëring en biologische hulpbronnen|
Parent project: Research action SPSD-II: Second scientific support plan for a sustainable development policy, more
Reference no: EV/19
Acronym: AMORE II
Period: February 2002 till April 2006
Thesaurus terms: Algal blooms; Eutrophication; Nutrients (mineral); Pollution; Water quality
Taxonomic terms: Guinardia delicatula (Cleve) Hasle, 1997 [WoRMS]; Noctiluca scintillans (Macartney) Kofoid & Swezy, 1921 [WoRMS]; Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel, 1899 [WoRMS]
Geographical term: ANE, North Sea, Southern Bight [gazetteer]
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- Université Libre de Bruxelles; École Interfacultaire de Bioingénieurs; Laboratoire d'Écologie des Systèmes Aquatiques (ESA), more
- Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen; Departement Beheer van het Mariene Ecosysteem; Beheerseenheid Mathematisch Model Noordzee en Schelde-estuarium; Brussel (KBIN-BMM), more
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Biologie; Laboratorium voor Ecologie en Systematiek (ECOL), more
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; Departement Biologie; Afdeling Dierenecologie en -systematiek; Diversiteit en Systematiek van Dieren, more
- Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek; Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research; NIOZ Yerseke, more
- Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO), more, sponsor
- Oregon State University; College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, more, partner
- Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls-Sur-Mer, more, partner
As EU member and Contracting Party of the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast Atlantic, Belgium has obligation of taking measures to protect its maritime area against the adverse effects of eutrophication. Eutrophication in Belgian coastal waters results from transboundary (SW- Atlantic waters, Rhine) and local (IJzer, Scheldt) inputs of land-based nutrients (N, P, Si) and manifests as huge algal blooms (mainly the Haptophycea Phaeocystis) that impact the ecosystem function. Despite a nowadays 50, % reduction of P loads compared to 1990 no ecosystem improvement is discernible. Increased understanding of the links between nutrient enrichment and ecosystem response is needed to guide the implementation of European regulations for the reduction of riverine nutrient loads to the North Sea.
AMORE-II research focus on establishing quantitative and qualitative links between nutrient enrichment, spreading of high-biomass algal blooms (Phaeocystis globosa but also the co-occurrent diatom Guinardia delicatula), presence of gelatinous zooplankton (the dinoflagellate Noctiluca Scintillans, the appendicularian Oïkoploira dioica) and impact on ecosystem function.
In support to government policy, the overall objective is to provide new ecological knowledge and an upgraded version of the existing ecological model (3D-MIRO&CO) to:
- predict the magnitude and geographical extent of undesirable Phaeocystis blooms in the Southern Bight of the North Sea in response to changing nutrient loads and climate conditions (North Atlantic Oscillation);
- trace the origin and fate of anthropogenic nutrients in the Belgian coastal zone distinguishing between in-flowing Atlantic waters, Scheldt, IJzer and Rhine river inputs, local pelagic and benthic recycling and the export to adjacent areas.
AMORE-II research methodology involves and combines the collection of historical and new field data, process-level experiments and numerical tools.
Laboratory and field experiments focus on mechanisms controlling the inception, magnitude and extent of blooms in the Southern Bight of the North Sea with particular attention to further understanding the:
- life strategy of Phaeocystis blooms based on the identification of overwintering forms and complete life cycle making use of high-resolution microscopic techniques and molecular probes;
- competitive strategy among algal blooming species (P. globosa, G. delicatula) and bacteria for P acquisition during bloom events based on culture work with pure freshly-isolated species making use of radio-tracer and immunofluorescence techniques;
- trophic role of gelatinous zooplankton based on quantitative and qualitative determination of key organisms and their diet and feeding function.
Numerical experimentation will provide an improved version of the existing 3D-MIRO&CO ecological model in order to increase its capability to predict bloom spreading in response to changes in land-based nutrients and short-term climatic variations. It includes the extension of the geographical domain, better resolution of forcing functions, upgrading of the biological MIRO code based on new experimental results and data assimilation, addition of a module describing carbon speciation and air-sea CO2 exchange. The validated model will be used to assess the impact of nutrient reduction policy on algal bloom mitigation taking into account contrasted meteorological conditions.
Interaction between the different partners
Experimental studies are under full responsibility of ULB-ESA and VUB-EKOL. Experiments in microbial ecology (nutrient competition and Phaeocystis life cycle) will be conducted by ULB-ESA with assistance of Observatoire Océanologique de Banuyls for electronic microscopy. Beside, ULB-ES
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- Lancelot, C.; Rousseau, V.; Gypens, N.; Parent, J.-Y.; Bissar, A.; Lemaire, J.; Breton, E.; Daro, M.H.; Lacroix, G.; Ruddick, K.; Ozer, J.; Spitz, Y.; Soetaert, K.; Chrétiennot-Dinet, M.-J.; Lantoine, F.; Rodriguez, F. (2007). Advanced modeling and research on eutrophication AMORE II: final report. Belgian Science Policy: Brussel. 84 pp., more