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Impacts of Climate Variability on the Atlantic Ocean's Living Resources

Our understanding of the influence of climate variability on the structure and functioning of ecosystems is determined directly by our capacity to develop coupled physical and ecological process models. Current ocean dynamic models coupled with food chain transfer models in particular allow us to forecast marine resource distribution and abundance in the upper trophic levels. However, in order to use these models to establish sustainable management strategies, it is necessary to limit their output uncertainties by identifying critical climate variables and incorporating these into population dynamics models. This type of approach is problematic in the case of entirely deep sea dwelling species, but it can be applied to marine species that regularly visit the shore, allowing us to gain access to parameters associated with their life at sea and their population dynamics.

The project intersects the disciplines of oceanography, behavioural ecology and population dynamics. The proposal is to study the influence of climate variability on turtles in the Atlantic, through a study of their habitats and breeding, focusing especially on leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). The project will be able to use new observation, measurement, monitoring and simulation tools developed by the partners in order to devise an original operational approach to relationships between environmental conditions and the migratory behaviour of the species, which spends 99% of its life in the sea. The critical climate variables we identify will be incorporated into a new population dynamics raster-based model, with which projections of climate change impacts on population dynamics can be made using sea and land habitat climate models. Given that the species is classified as critically endangered, the project will aim to involve local people and groups so that the findings can be taken into account in natural resource management and educational policies.


Jean-Yves Georges, CNRS - CEPE,


Collecte Localisation Satellite - Direction Océanographie Spatiale
Fond Mondial pour la Nature - WWF-France
Université Paris-Sud - Unité Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution (ESE)

30 000€ (including tax)
  • Impacts