Phase 2 (2016-2020)

A new and simplified organization of our research is proposed by considering our research at two different scales:

  • At the coastal scale: the focus will be on the transfer and response of pelagic and marine ecosystem up to exploited resources to major inputs of chemical contaminants, such as outfalls of urbanized coastal zone and river floods, in the North-Western and Central Mediterranean.
  • At the scale of the Mediterranean basin: extension of the observation effort toward large areas of the Mediterranean where in situ data and precise knowledge of key processes are lacking, preventing accurate understanding and modeling of pelagic ecosystems functioning today and in the future (atmospheric dust depositionand intermediate (dense) water formation).


3 major actions were designed following the MERMEX and MISTRALS 2015 workshops.

  • Impact of contaminants – The MERITE (Marine ecosystem response to the input of contaminants in the coastal zone) action aims at investigating the fate of chemical contaminants and their impacts on the benthic and pelagic habitats, in specific coastal ecosystems, such as urbanized bays and contaminated fishing grounds in the western and central Mediterranean.

The integrative approach will be improved in targeted habitats in the framework of MERITE. The studies will be conducted in selected types of specific Mediterranean coastal ecosystems, namely:

    • Contaminated urbanized bays in the Western and Central Mediterranean selected pilot areas;
    • Contaminated fishing grounds across the Western and Central Mediterranean areas.


For more information, please contact : Cédric Garnier, François Carlotti or Jacek Tronczynski


  • Impact of atmospheric deposition – The PEACETIME (Process studies at the air-sea interface after dust deposition in the Mediterranean) action proposes to study the fundamental physical, chemical and biological  processes and their interactions at the atmosphere-ocean interface.

More specifically, PEACETIME aims at assessing:

    • the contribution of atmospheric deposition to nutrient concentrations and budgets,
    • the impact of atmospheric deposition on biogeochemical processes and fluxes in various trophic regimes and various climate conditions,
    • the impact of aerosol deposition and marine aerosols emission on optical properties above and below the air-sea interface,
    • the improvement of the representation of atmospheric deposition, its nutrient inputs and impacts on biogeochemistry at the process scale and at the basin scale using regional high resolution atmospheric and marine biogeochemical modeling of the Mediterranean basin.


For more information, please contact : Cécile Guieu or Karine Desboeufs


  • Impact of dense water formation – The PERLE (Pelagic ecosystem response to dense water formation in the Levant experiment) action aims at describing the formation and spreading of Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW), and determining its role on the distribution of nutrients and on the structuration of the planktonic ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean.

Specifically, it will focus on

    • The characterization of the regions of formation;
    • The description of formation phases (pre-conditioning, formation, and spreading);
    • The description and analysis of its impact on dissolved oxygen, nutrients distribution and planktonic production; i.e. what is the role of deep water formation on mass balances and on the structuring of the pelagic ecosystem in the Levantine basin?
    • The role of the North Ionian Gyre circulation in the preconditioning of the LIW formation areas;
    • The role of mesoscale processes in the variability of LIW formation;
    • The role of mesoscale processes in the variability of the pelagic ecosystem (planktonic diversity and production); i.e. What is the relationship between the organization of the microbial loop (epi- meso- and bathy- pelagic layers, phyto- zoo- planktonic functional groups…) and hydrodynamic structures and what are the consequences for biogeochemical fluxes and elemental stoichiometry? More specifically, what is the origin and fate of organic matter exported by dense water formation process? What proportion of the produced DOM is eventually exported in the deep layers and potentially sequestered?


For more information, please contact : Pascal Conan, Fabrizio D’ortenzio, Claude Estournel or Pierre Testor