Project: PhD

Project Details


Sand is the second most exploited natural resources after water on Earth, surpassing biomass and fossil fuels. Due to this high demand, inland sand resources are declining rapidly, resulting in a worldwide shift from inland extraction activities towards marine and costal mining. Marine sand extraction directly affects the seafloor by changing flows, and sediment characteristics, causing physical disturbance. This is concerning as benthos belonging to the fundamental level of the marine food web, and providing ecosystem services, such as facilitating nutrient cycling. Since the recovery of extraction areas to pre-disturbance state seems to be unlikely, we face the challenge to adapt to the ecological and social effects. To mitigate these effects, designing ecosystem-based strategies will be necessary, ensuring ecosystem services for now and for the future. However, to be able to define ecosystem-based sand extraction practices, the knowledge gap on the spatial-temporal ecological effects must be closed. Therefore, the aim of this project is to identify possible changes in ecosystem functions by understanding the distribution of benthos and demersal fish in coherence with their physiological, morphological, ecological and behavioural traits.
Effective start/end date1/03/23 → …


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