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PHENOMED - Climate change, phenology and reproduction: Mediterranean sponges as models

Summary information

Funding:FP6 - Marie Curie Actions
Ec contribution:214023
Start date:2007-06-01
End date:2009-05-31
Duration:24 months
Coordinator:Thierry Perez
Organisation:National Council for Scientific Research, Laboratoire Diversite, Evolution et Ecologie – France
Regio:Mediterranean Sea
Keywords:Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, life/reproductive cycle, Porifera, gametogenesis, embryogenesis, temperature anomalies
Project name:PHENOMED - Climate change, phenology and reproduction: Mediterranean sponges as models
Project summary:Potential effects of global change act at different organization levels from physiological to community and can affect the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. PHENOMED was implemented in NW Mediterranean coastal ecosystems, because they harbour a high biodiversity which suffered dramatic effects from global change.

This programme proposed an approach, which aimed at understanding the recent and forthcoming effects of the warming at the life/reproductive cycle level. Although the resilience of a population severely affected depends on its reproduction and dispersal abilities, almost nothing has been done for assessing the potential effects of thermal anomalies on the benthic organisms at reproductive level.

PHENOMED contributed to a better understanding of the impact of strong disturbances on the phenology in order to provide management and conservation advices. For this purpose, we comparatively investigated reproductive cycles and strategy of temperature sensitive and tolerant species living in different ecological conditions.

Our models: Porifera is one of the most abundant group of metazoans within hard substratum communities, which provide services to human societies and have been severely affected by high temperature events during the last decades.

The detailed objectives were:
- Characterizing the gametogenesis, embryogenesis, larval ultrastructure, metamorphosis, and recruitment of target sponge species.
- Acquiring baselines on their life cycle and reproductive effort.
- Studying the modification of the reproductive cycles and strategies in natural and experimental conditions.
- Assessing experimentally the warming effect at the cellular level.

Thus PHENOMED combined in vitro and in situ approaches that provided a first evaluation of the potential warming effects on the phenology of marine organisms and new baselines for assessing the resilience of sensitive populations within the global change context.