Improving the conservation status of 8 main types of temperate French marine habitats is the main objective of the Life Marha project.
In 2012, the conservation status of the majority of Natura 2000 marine habitats was assessed as unfavourable. This result was the motivating factor for the Life Marha. The French Office for Biodiversity coordinates this national project with eleven other partners bringing together managers and research organizations. For Ifremer, four departments are involved: REM, ODE, IDM and RBE.
To improve knowledge and the development of conservation status indicators for coastal habitats, Ifremer has proposed several areas of study relating to:
• seagrass beds with the main objective of better understanding the dynamic of this emblematic habitat, its variability and its responses to local and/or global pressures,
• intertidal reef habitats: boulder fields and reef flats of the Basque coasts because of their specific biogeographical and environmental traits and fucales for the regression they may experience in certain sectors,
• subtidal reef habitats, and more specifically kelp, whose distribution and standing stock assessment are major issues for this habitat management,
• innovation to develop new tools for monitoring benthic habitats by testing the potential of hyperspectral sensors for the assessment of conservation status.
Scientific contact: Touria Bajjouk, coordination du volet côtier (Dyneco/Lebco), Vincent Ouisse (LER Languedoc-Roussillon), Marie-Noelle De Casamajor (LER Anglet), Isabelle Auby (LER Arcachon), Claire Rollet (LER Bretagne-Nord)