We are a joint research project funded by the BMBF. Six partner institutes work together to record and describe the current status of the Natura 2000 sites in the North Sea. Subsequent changes due to the exclusion of mobile bottom-contact fishing gear (MGF) can thus be better recognized and assessed.
Our project is divided into four work packages (WP), which focus on different key topics. The continuous exchange of results between the WPs will facilitate an overall understanding of the structure and function of the ecosystems. Field data from the Natura 2000 sites will be collected to obtain a general picture on the sediment quality, communities living within and on the substrate as well as turnover rates and benthic fluxes, which will form the basis for modelling approaches.