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Restoration of Cystoseira macroalgal FORESTs to enhance biodiversity along Mediterranean rocky REEFs
Restoration of Cystoseira macroalgal FORESTs to enhance biodiversity along Mediterranean rocky REEFs


REEForest LIFE aims to reverse the degradation of the endangered Cystoseira Habitat 1170 by implementing active restoration and setting up monitoring plans in 4 marine protected areas (Italy: Sinis Peninsula, Cilento National Park, Bergeggi Island; Greece: Gyaros island) where the causes of degradation have been addressed.

Macroalgal forests, one of the most productive and valuable habitats in the Mediterranean, are presently rapidly being lost because of direct and indirect human impacts.

Due to their role in supporting biodiversity their loss is leading to a decline in critical ecosystem services and a reduction in the ability of the oceans to sequester carbon dioxide and contribute to climate change mitigation.

For these reasons, prompt conservation and restoration efforts are needed, also in the context of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

Capitalizing outcomes of ROC-POP LIFE, the project will restore the ecological status in the target MPAs through the implementation of specific conservation measures and cost-effective/sustainable reforestation activities (i.e. ex-situ and in-situ recruitment enhancement).

In addition, REEForest will

  • provide concrete and robust methods that can be used to replicate and scale up restoration activities in other areas and with other species
  • propose Guidelines for Mediterranean marine forest restoration that are relevant to EU policies, and support researchers and stakeholders to take correct decisions considering cost-effectiveness, ecological conditions and potential threats
  • raise awareness among citizens and stakeholders on the loss of marine forests in the Mediterranean Sea
  • promote knowledge replicability on the conservation, management and restoration of Cystoseira habitat through training, capacity building and “decision support” in at least 14 MPAs (Natura2000) and support MPA management bodies to formally adopt and update their management plans by including Cystoseira as a biodiversity target.
Restoration of Cystoseira macroalgal FORESTs to enhance biodiversity along Mediterranean rocky REEFs


REEForest Events update

REEForest is not just a lot of field and lab work, but also many initiatives to tell what we do to protect and restore marine forests. From the “open days” at universities, to international conferences and scientific conventions, from podcasts

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Natural Capital: an essential tool

Natural capital is a crucial concept in REEForest, since it allows humans to quantify an ecosystem value. Otherwise how would we know if the restoration was successful? We need to compare the ecosystem state before and after our action! Sometimes

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REEForest activities kick-off in Greece

In the charming Cyclades archipelago of Greece, a remarkable effort to restore marine forests is underway on the island of Gyaros Marine Reserve. Once used as a prison in the past, this remote site now captures the attention of HCMR‘s

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A close-up of a clay disc and the young Cystoseira that grew upon it

Celebrating the success of the REEForest Life project in Cilento!

We are thrilled to share the news of the successuful reintroduction of Cystoseira seedlings in Cilento marking the first large-scale intervention in the Mediterranean.

After a month of growth in the aquariums of the University of Trieste, the Cystoseira seedlings were recently outplanted on the seabed of the receiving site near Agropoli (SA), restoring the Cystoseira marine forests in the Cilento National Park.

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Natura 2000 – Europe’s nature for you

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
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