Stockholm university

Research project FutureMARES – Climat Change and Future Marine Ecosystems Services and Biodiversity

The goal of the project FutureMares is to provide socially and economically viable actions and strategies in support of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Miljöbild från Östersjön.
Foto: Peter W Eriksson /Mostphotos

Marine and transitional ecosystems provide fundamental climate regulation, food provisioning and cultural services. FutureMARES provides socially and economically viable nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation to safeguard these ecosystems’ natural capital, biodiversity and services.

The program advances understanding of the links between species and community traits, ecological functions and ecosystem services as impacted by climate change by analysing the best available data from monitoring programs and conducting targeted experiments and beyond state-of-the-art modelling. Ensemble physical-biogeochemical projections will identify climate change hotspots and refugia. Shifts in the distribution and productivity of keystone, structural and endangered species and the consequences for biodiversity will be projected within different climate change nature-based solution scenarios to reveal potential ecological benefits, feedbacks and trade-offs. Novel, social-ecological vulnerability assessments will rank the severity of climate change impacts on various ecosystem services and dependent human communities. Complementary analyses at real-world demonstration sites will inform managers and policy-makers on the economic costs and tradeoffs of nature-based solutions.

These physical, ecological, social and economic analyses will be integrated to develop three, climate-ready nature-based solutions: i) restoration of habitat-forming species acting as ‘climate rescuers’ buffering coastal habitats from negative climate change effects, improving seawater quality, and sequestering carbon, ii) conservation actions explicitly considering the range of impacts of climate change and other hazards on habitat suitability for biota to preserve the integrity of food webs (e.g. marine protected areas) and protect endangered species (e.g. charismatic megafauna), and iii) sustainable, ecosystem-based harvesting (capture and culture) of seafood.

Project description

FutureMARES is co-developed with policy-makers and managers to ensure impactful and transformative cost-effective actions.

The project is coordinated by University of Hamburg, Germany. Other participants are:

  • Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Azti Foundation, Sukarrieta, Spain
  • Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones, La Serena, Chile
  • The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London, United Kingdom
  • Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Matosinhos, Portugal
  • Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Lecce, Italy
  • Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, Spain
  • Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize
  • Devon County Council, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Stichting Deltares, Delft, Netherlands
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Lyngby, Denmark
  • Center for Marine Sciences, University of the Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  • Helmholtz Zentrum für Ozeanforschung, Kiel, Germany
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Athens, Greece
  • Iceta Institutio de Ciencias, Porto, Portugal
  • Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Limited, Haifa, Israel
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, Marseille, France
  • Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Paris, France
  • Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Norsk Institutt for Vannforskning, Oslo, Norway
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Consortio di Gestione dell’Area Marina Protetta del Promontorio, Portofino, Italy
  • University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Suomen ympäristökeskus | Helsinki, Finland
  • Thuenen-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany
  • WCMC, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Universita di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Universidad de Vigo, Vigo Pontevedra, Spain
  • Stichting Wageningen Research, Wagenigen, Netherlands
  • Stichting Nederlandse Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Instituten, Utrecht, Netherlands

For more information about FutureMARES and news from the project visit

Project members


Maciej Tomczak


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Maciej Tomzcak, foto: Niklas Björling/SU

Bärbel Muller-Karulis


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Bärbel Müller-Karulis, foto: Niklas Björling/SU