FORCE partners an inter-disciplinary team of researchers from Europe and the Caribbean to enhance the scientific basis for managing coral reefs in an era of rapid climate change and unprecedented human pressure on coastal resources. The project takes an ecosystem approach that links the health of the ecosystem with the livelihoods of dependent communities and identifies the governance structures needed to implement sustainable development. In helping communities to adapt to climate change in the Caribbean, we aim:
- to understand the ultimate and proximate causes of change in Caribbean reef environments. This will require integration of natural and social sciences to understand physical, ecological and governance processes that influence reef health and people
- to assemble a region-wide management toolbox. The toolbox will collate existing tools and also offer enhanced tools that have been developed through the research activities of the FORCE project.
- to consider both the efficiency of management tools and the various societal constraints to successful implementation of management recommendations
- to disseminate our recommendations and tools to stakeholders, practitioners, and policy-makers.
Within the project, ZMT investigates critical gaps in knowledge in the ecology of tropical reef algae with a focus on crustose coralline algae, generally considered as ‘coral-friendly’ (subproject 1), and benthic cyanobacterial mats, generally considered as ‘coral-unfriendly’ (subproject 2). Our findings will plug strategic holes in our understanding of ecological processes so that models of reef ecosystems can be improved.
To the FORCE website…