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Nutrients Cycling and the Trophic Status of Coastal Ecosystems

Reference no: EVK3-CT-200000040;ENV4-CT96-0213
Period: March 2001 till May 2004
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Eutrophication; Nutrient cycles
Geographical term: ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]

Institutes (8)  Top 
  • Université de Liège; Faculté des Sciences; Département d'Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie; Unité d’Océanographie Chimique, more, co-ordinator
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles; Faculté des Sciences; Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement; Unité Modélisation Biogéochimique Système Terre; Laboratory of Chemical Oceanography and Water Geochemistry (LoCGE), more, partner
  • Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee; NIOZ Yerseke, more, partner
    • Middelburg, Jack, researcher
    • van Rijswijk, Pieter, researcher
    • Veuger, Bart, researcher
  • Sorbonne Université; Sorbonne Université/CNRS, Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), partner
    • Gattuso, Jean-Pierre
  • Aalborg University (AAU), more, partner
    • Iversen, Niels
  • Universitat de les Illes Balears; Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA), more, partner
    • Duarte, Carlos
  • University of Hull; Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS), more, partner
  • European Commission; Fifth Framework Programme, sponsor


The project aims to improve our knowledge of the metabolic state of coastal ecosystems, which is fundamental in terms of nutrients and carbon cycling/storage. The trophic status will be determined in diverse ecosystems using simultaneously different methods at various time scales. The effect of nutrients speciation and organic carbon fractionation will be studied in systems of various eutrophication levels. A model will be implemented to estimate transfer and fluxes of carbon/nitrogen and to forecast the impact of human intervention on trophic status change. Results will be translated into management criteria and directives for monitoring procedures to assess the trophic status of coastal ecosystems. Dissemination will be organized at several levels, from general public to policy makers and environmental organisations.


The assessment of the autotrophic-heterotrophic balance within each of 3 study areas across 3 member states of the EU; the derivation of detailed data following the implementation of standard methods which have produced a large amount of data and information; the use of numerical predictive methods followed by scenario testing; the description and analysis of the legislative and administrative procedures within each country and their compliance with national, European and international statutes and agreements.

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