Description of the WG3
Many threats are responsible for the MAF transformation and degradation, whose intensity and typology can vary with the depth. Direct and indirect impacts (described above) compromise MAF integrity and functioning. Considering the role they play in ecosystem engineering, the impacts can trigger a cascade effect involving the whole assemblage they structure. Both direct and indirect global threats are due to an especially dramatic “tragedy of the commons” management of our oceans, which are more threatened than land ecosystems. Such threats have to be not only clearly identified but their effect must also be understood from an ecosystem functioning point of view. Making a clear list but also a map of threats will be the target of such a WG5, in combination with WG3, 6 and 7.
Literature review on MAF threats. Tasks: a. Review all the literature (scientific and grey literature) on this MAF topic. b. Classify, especially the way in which the impacts are catalogued c. Report on how threats are perceived by different scientific groups, stakeholders and the general public.
Direct and indirect threats Workshop. Tasks: a. Identify, contact and confirm workshop’s participants. b. Hold workshop. c. Share ideas and knowhow of common protocols for the identification of impact interpretation on MAF health status assessment. d. Build a publicly available metadatabase, to encourage further analysis of the existing literature.
MAF Impacts Training School. Tasks: a. Hold Workshop on the main protocols and methodologies about the different impacts recorded on MAF, making a common ground to identify possible solutions; in the same training school, an in-depth approach for the students will be made about this topic, showing how the
same impact may be very different depending on the area and community studied; b. The most common assessment protocols will be discussed and applied during tailored scientific diving activities on different examples of MAFs. c. Training to assess the health status of gorgonians in the coralligenous habitat. d. Develop proposals for an STSM with WG1 and conduct the monitoring, evaluation and follow-up of the activity.