LargeNet will try to identify and improve our understanding of how marine biodiversity varies across spatial and temporal scales and to improve our understanding of the nature and relative importance of the processes (natural and anthropogenic) determining that variation.

LargeNet is mainly linked to the MarBEF Core Strategic programme of Theme 1 "Global patterns of marine bio-diversity across ecosystems" and contributes to the "integration of research and data from the network members on large-scale, long-term patterns in marine biodiversity taking into account results of previous EU projects in the field, e.g. ERMS and BIOMARE.

The overall objective is to establish a large-scale network of research locations/sites along the European coast to assess long-term changes in biodiversity and their possible causes taking into account natural and anthropogenic gradients.

The specific aims are to:

  • Collate and analyse suitable long-term datasets on marine biodiversity in co-operation with Workpackage 1 (Data Integration), WP 2 (Taxonomic Clearing System) and WP 6 (Quality Assurance) using common approaches to determine key aspects of change
  • Review and apply methods and tools for comparison of species assemblages and their changes along at a hierarchy of spatial scales, including latitudinal and longitudinal gradients across Europe
  • Relate changes in biodiversity and patterns of changes to the variability and trends of the hydro-climatic environment
  • Formulate hypotheses on causes and consequences of biodiversity and environmental change in an ecosystem context
  • Develop concepts and research approaches, particularly experimental ones, for hypothesis testing and to detect and compare similar Global Change driven trends in different regions of Europe.

LargeNet: Large scale and long term networking on the observation of Global Change and its impact on Marine Biodiversity is a Responsive Mode Project undertaken within the MarBEF EU Network of Excellence, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union
Principal investigators: Fred Buchholz, Doris Schiedek, Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Herman Hummel, Stephen Hawkins, Steve Widdicombe