Work Plans

BIOcean5D is an ambitious project, which will bring researchers together and harness new tools and techniques. 

The main objectives of the project are:

1) To close the gap in knowledge on the structure, dynamics, and evolution of marine biodiversity within and across marine ecosystems by integrating existing biodiversity datasets and generating new biodiversity data across relevant taxonomic and spatio-temporal scales, environmental gradients, critical habitats, and taxa.

2) To understand the drivers and mechanisms of biodiversity changes and degradation, assess and predict marine ecosystem health, and provide quantitative eco-systemic tools for marine biodiversity policy implementation, by building a transdisciplinary theoretical and modelling framework informed by knowledge from Objective 1.

3) To develop and apply tools integrating the dynamics of functional biodiversity to measure the financial and non-financial value of marine life and ecosystem services and share new concepts of marine biodiversity services to ecosystems and societies through re-evaluation of conservation strategies and legal frameworks, as well as citizen engagement in marine science and literacy. 

The work plan for BIOcean5D has been designed to support our overall objective of delivering a holistic understanding of marine biodiversity and its economic, societal, and cultural value. 

The project’s six technical work packages are as follows:

Work Plan 1: Exploration to fill the marine biodiversity/ecosystem knowledge gap.

This work plan will generate a suite of high-quality quantitative and consistent datasets from existing and novel marine samples covering relevant taxonomic, spatial, and time scales, as well as environmental gradients, to fill critical marine biodiversity knowledge gaps. 

Work Plan 2: Understanding biodiversity in critical marine habitats and their keystone holobionts. 

This work plan will acquire a deeper understanding of biodiversity in critical marine ecosystems through the study of key species shaping and structuring these habitats and their local communities. 

Work Plan 3: Data to knowledge, a digital foundation for holistic marine biodiversity assessment

This work plan will assess what functionality a robust, interoperable digital ecosystem for biodiversity data should deliver to science and society, and what efforts are needed to transition existing capacities into a fit-for-purpose, integrated, and sustainable system, starting from the current state of highly heterogeneous and largely unstandardised silos of biodiversity data. It will integrate and enrich selected legacy data and data generated in WP1-2 and WP5 and gathered in WP3, in addition to filling gaps in our existing knowledge on biodiversity data, and detecting and interpreting macroecological patterns along major axes of variability in a range of integrative analyses.  

Work Plan 4: New theories for marine biodiversity, ecosystem function, and their relationships.

This work plan will build new theoretical frameworks, fortifying the links between observations and hypotheses and developing new predictive models of marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. The ultimate goal is to identify the drivers of marine biodiversity, assess how these are organised across space and time, and determine which elements of biodiversity are key for ecosystem function and service provision.

Work Plan 5: Monitoring human impacts on marine biodiversity and modelling future ocean health.

This work plan will develop and apply next-generation indicators and models to measure and predict the impact of direct and indirect drivers of marine biodiversity and the services it provides.  

Work Plan 6: Assessing biodiversity value and public values of marine natural capital for improved protective strategies.

This work plan will ground economic valuation of marine ecosystem services deeper into biodiversity functions and processes analysis, combining theoretical, applied, and policy-oriented approaches.  

Work Plan 7: Outreach, engagement and use of results.

This work plan aims to stimulate interest and engagement in BIOcean5D activities and promote uptake and use of project results. 

Work Plan 8: Coordination and project management.

This work plan will facilitate the cohesive delivery of BIOcean5D tasks towards the goal of holistic, ecosystem-based management of marine biodiversity resources.