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Menselijke invloeden op mariene voedselwebben: over klimaatverandering, habitatfragmentatie, en microplastics



Course format On-site
Date 2021-12-02 - 2021-12-02
Cost € 30.00 / membership

The blue planet: new insights in function of a sustainable use of the sea and her resources

This lecture is embedded in the lecture series ‘The blue planet: new insights in function of a sustainable use of the sea and her resources’ by the Marine Biology Research Group.

In this lecture series, insights will be given on the importance of marine food webs and biodiversity, how marine ecosystems are threatened by human activities, and which knowledge is essential to guarantee a sustainable management of the sea.

Lecture: Anthropogenic influences on marine food webs: climate change, habitat fragmentation and microplastics

  • Date: Thursday 2nd of December 2021
  • Speaker: Prof. Tom Moens
  • Description:

“Marine ecosystems in danger? On climate change, microplastics, and other anthropogenic influences with predictable and less predictable consequences.” The marine environment does not only cover 70 % of the Earth’s surface and harbor a large part of the biodiversity at Earth, but also deliver a large arsenal of ecosystem services which are of great importance for mankind. Its total economic value is being estimated at € 50 trillion per year! Despite its huge economic importance for mankind, these same marine environments are being threatened by anthropogenic factors. Climate change and pollution are hereby probably the most well-known examples. Research on individual responses is being performed, to estimate the possible consequences of such influences on the marine ecosystems. Less frequently, effects on more complex systems are examined, whereby interactions between different species and/or the effects on ecosystem services are being studied. In this lecture we focus on how an adequate understanding of the anthropogenic impact on marine ecosystems is in need for research on interaction between species within a community, based on concrete research examples. In this manner, the response of benthic (= soil life) communities to climate change can be determined by unexpected behavioral changes of one or multiple key species and the corresponding effects on the rest of the community and on ecosystem services. Microplastics do not only affect the ‘fitness’ of individual species, but also their behavior, and as such the involved predator-prey interactions. Coastal ecosystems are changing drastically due to the rising of wind mill parks, to limit the anthropogenic ecological foot print on the climate, which could result in unpredicted consequences.


Application for this edition of ‘wetenschappelijke nascholing’ in Kortrijk is open for registration from the 23rd of August 2021 (14h) until the 20th of September 2021 (unless full capacity is reached).

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