TURFALGAE workshop

Threats of turf algae on blue forests
Oslo, 31 May – 2 June 2017

With support from NBNF and RCN (The Research Council of Norway), NIVA arranged an international workshop on turf algae and the threats they pose to kelps and seagrasses. The aim of the workshop was to gather national and international leading scientists, as well as Norwegian managers, to assess current status of knowledge globally, and to identify research needs with respect to regime shifts from these blue forests to less complex turf algae systems.

Blue forests are facing multiple stressors from climate change and human population growth, and the recent large-scale loss of these important ecosystems due to such shifts has become a global concern. In particular we wanted to highlight the research needs to improve knowledge of the ongoing regime shifts and fouling of macrophytes in Norwegian coastal waters.

The workshop involved sharing of data, knowledge and methodology between 19 participants from 7 countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom, Portugal, Australia, Canada). Current state of knowledge, nationally and internationally, was achieved through the invited participant’s presentations. Through invited presentations we also got an overview of available methods, tools, and analytical approaches that can be used to address the knowledge gaps identified. The main research questions, and how these can be addressed (literature review, field experiments, lab studies) were also discussed.

Based on the presentations and discussions, a NIVA-led application, “TURFALGAE”, was submitted to RCN’s research program MARINFORSK, in September 2017.