Does climate change affect the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems? Can biological monitoring of nuclear power plants help us answer this question?
The aim of the LOTERIES project is to develop and apply numerical ecology approaches in time series, in order to extract new information and exploit an existing database in a timely manner, and with a perspective which was not initially imagined.
Changes due to water temperature?
This project therefore focuses on heterogeneous data sets regarding phytoplankton and zooplankton in the water column, as well as benthic macroalgae macrofauna, and attempts to characterize their variations over the long term. These variations naturally depend on abiotic (physical) parameters, but also on each other (phytoplankton, for example, feed zooplankton and benthic filter feeders).
Do these relationships remain the same, or is the rising temperature in the waters of the English Channel (since 1970, water temperature has been rising unevenly, but by up to 0.5° per decade) modifying these relationships?
Regular and long-term monitoring
For forty years, monitoring has been carried out to track the potential impact of hot water discharges from nuclear power plants on the Channel coastline. While it has long been demonstrated that the impacts were negligible, samples taken from the water column and sediments can help us to better understand the links between these pelagic and benthic compartments. In a context of global change and warming marine waters, these long data series can help us to highlight - and above all quantify - the impacts of this warming in the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems.
Scientific contact: Stanislas Dubois (Lebco), Mathieu Chevalier (Lebco)
Associated thesis: Long-term trends, bentho-pelagic couplings and changes in coastal ecosystem regimes in the Channel in a context of global change by Lucas Greiner