First phase synthesis



Executive summary

From 2010 to 2015, a huge experimental effort has been made within the different workpackages (with more
than 250 days at sea) allowing the collection of various unique and coherent data sets combining physical,
biogeochemical, and biological data. The major results to date deal with:

  • A better understanding of the functioning of the pelagic trophic web from the bacteria to the top predator.
  • A better quantification of the inputs of organic matter and contaminants (in particular metals) by diffusive (groundwater) and point (ports, rivers, wastewater outlets) sources and its influence on biogeochemistry.
  • A better understanding of the influence of extreme events (flood, storm, dense shelf water cascading) on the redistribution of particulate and dissolved matter on the coastal zone and towards the deep basin.
  • A better understanding of major processes (acidification, dust fertilization, photo-degradation) taking place in the water column, and of the fluxes of aerosols of biologic origin towards the atmosphere.


Regarding modeling, the major advances are:

  • Improved quantification of the nitrogen and phosphorus budgets (organic and inorganic) and Chlorophyll at the scale of the western and eastern Mediterranean basins
  • Quantifying the impact of climate change on the acidification of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Determination of the habitat of more than 1000 species throughout the Mediterranean
  • Improved representation of the northwestern Mediterranean from the event scale to the seasonal scale (quantification of the biogeochemical budgets, of the stoichiometry variations, conditions of the bloom onset)
  • Understanding the impact of climate change on some pelagic and benthic species distribution
  • Modeling the transfer of contaminants through the planktonic food web
  • Understanding the impact of extreme events on the budget of contaminants at the scale of the urbanized Bay of Marseille
  • Coupling of low and high trophic levels models
  • Improved quantification of transfer from the shelf to the open sea (storms and cascading)