MC2 - Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems

Event Dates: 4-6th March 2013
Location: Paris, France
Organisers: Mehera Kidston, Laurent Bopp, Meike Vogt and Niki Gruber: ETH Zurich
ECTS Point Allocation: 2
Related Publication: Coming Soon!

The mini-conference MC2 under the theme “Impact of climate change on marine ecosystems” was held in Paris from March 03 until March 05 2013. 27 participants from all over the World, of which 10 associated with Greencycles II projects, met in the Universite de Jussieu on the 23rd floor of the Zamanski-Tower and enjoyed a splendid view on the World from above. The mini-conference was organized by the Greencycles steering committee Mehera Kidston, Laurent Bopp, Meike Vogt and Niki Gruber and consistent of 2 half days with excellent talks by the participants on the current state of research in ecosystem modelling, and 2 half days of targeted discussions on current hot topics of research in the field. Helped by the excellent French food to boost our brain activity, the wonderful view that lifted our spirits, and the lack of a Wi-Fi connection to distract our minds, discussions were fruitful and animated and will lead to an exciting community position paper on necessary developments and new challenges for marine ecosystem modeling. MC2 also hosted both a Greencycles WP2 meeting and a MARine Ecosystem Model Inter-comparison Project (MAREMIP) meeting, where 5-10 scientist debated specific project issues.

The topics that were discussed during MC2 were the level of complexity required in current marine ecosystem models for applications in climate sciences on the one side, and marine ecology on the other. It was suggested that models with flexible complexity that aggregate marine biota into few output variables for climate and carbon cycle applications, and that resolve fine scale ecological processes in lower trophic level ecosystems for applications in marine ecology, ecosystem service provision and end-to-end modeling would be desirable. A second topic dealt with the challenge of simulating the impact of multiple stressors for marine ecosystems, which may impact different eco-physiological processes differentially, and may lead to non-analogue ecosystem states. It was suggested that data synthesis efforts such as the MAREDAT initiative will be required on the trait and process level, and will need to include both laboratory and field results, in order to be able to capture and understand a multiple stressor response of marine ecosystems. For example the coupling of the carbon and nitrogen cycles through an impact of changes in ocean pH (ocean acidification) on nitrification rates was debated. A third focus of the meeting examined ways how to include more flexibility in current marine ecosystem models in order to resolves processes of acclimation, adaptation, succession and evolution of marine biota to climate change. Here, a better representation of biodiversity, the inclusion of adaptable traits and the parameterization of flexible plankton stoichiometry will be required to capture ecosystem evolution in a changing world. Last but not least, it became clear during the meeting that the representation of zooplankton grazing will need to be re-examined, since top-down control appears to play a pivotal role in controlling phytoplankton diversity and biomass patterns. In summary, a better understanding of the eco-physiological processes regulating plankton growth, and the interactions between different ecosystem components will be essential for the accurate prediction of future marine ecosystem functioning and structure.


  1. Laurent Bopp, IPLS, France – GC
  2. Mehera Kidston, IPSL, France – GC
  3. Meike Vogt, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – GC
  4. Niki Gruber, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – GC
  5. Charlotte Laufkoetter , ETH Zurich, Switzerland – GC
  6. Colleen O’Brien, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – GC
  7. Peter Landschuetzer, UEA Norwich, UK – GC
  8. Beate Stawiarski, UEA Norwich, UK – GC
  9. Jorge Martinez-Rey, IPSL, France – GC
  10. Olivier Aumont, Universite de Brest, France
  11. Alessandro Tagliabue, Liverpool University, UK
  12. Marion Gehlen, IPSL, France
  13. Scott Doney, WHOI, USA
  14. Sevrine Sailley, WHOI, USA
  15. Irina Marinov, Michigan, USA
  16. Anna Cabre, Michigan, USA
  17. John Dunne, NOAA, USA
  18. Taketo Hashioka, JAMSTEC, Japan
  19. Takafumi Hirata, Hokkaido University, Japan
  20. Stephanie Dutkiewicz, MIT, USA
  21. Ben Ward, Universite de Jussieu, France
  22. Jorn Bruggeman, Oxford University, UK
  23. Sergio Vallina, Spain
  24. William McGiver, Italy
  25. Christoph Voelker, AWI, Germany
  26. Erik Buitenhuis, UEA Norwich, UK - GC
  27. Maria McKavanaugh, WHOI, USA