The 4th LIFE Scientific Committee was on the 12th and 13th of January 2023 !
The LIFE Adapt'Island project works on the restauration and preservation of 3 major ecosystems: mangroves, seagrass beds and corals. This scientific committee has been dedicated to the explanation of the project's progress, its evaluation and the upcoming activities.
1 - The mangroves:
On the pilote site, 268 plants of Rhizophora mangle have been planted and monitored. This came right after a soil analysis and the management of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). Soon, there should be the implementation of an in-situ nursery as well as a clearing project - refering to the sending of the soil to the adapted treatment sector. On the 'Grand Vert' site and its channels, the focus has been on the management of IAS but water channels appeared to be a vector for IAS propagation. Finally, on the 'DIC EST' site, preliminary studies have been held (an ecological diagnosis and a topographic survey), a soil analysis is upcoming. In parallel, there has been the management of IAS and the definition of the clearing project that is also upcoming.
2 - Seagrass meadows:
The eco-mooring area at Cochon Islet is meant to reduce the anthropogenic pressures on the seagrass beds by the implementation of a lighted buoyed mooring area. At the moment a geophysical survey has been led as well as the ecological monitoring of the surrounding seagrass meadows, R&D prototypes of concrete artificial reefs based on existent bibliography have been made, and eco-moorings set up. Soon, there should be an archaeological survey, the set up of screw anchors, a surface coverage analysis as well as data analysis. The marine underwater trail at Marie Galante is meant to raise awareness about marine life biodiversity with a focus on the seagrass meadows ecosystem and the importance of preserving such an ecosystem to maintain/increase the territory resilience. In this perspective, a preliminary ecological survey has been led as well as the drafting of public procurement documents and their publication in the aftermath. The next steps relate to offers analysis and the selection of the provider, the setting up of the trail as well as the monitoring of attendance, ecosystem and equipment.
3 - Corals:
The corals farms of the LIFE Adapt'Island project are meant to maintain sufficient biological materials levels for the transplantation operations. The farms have increased their capacity, the structures have been maintained, this came with a work on diseases management. Soon, a strategic reorganization for a better integration of Acropora palmata should happen. Regarding the transplantation operations, they have been based on previous operations monitoring, the selection of a new transplantation site which suppose a prospection work. A new transplantation site as well as a new methodology should be employed soon. Finally, there have been an observation of Acropora prolifera and Acropora cerviconis and the collect of gametes from Acropora palmara using an improved methodology. Currently, a monitoring of larval recruitment and growth is in progress. The next steps relate to the increase of the collection capacity and recruitment and growth in a controlled environment (laboratory).
If the focus is on these 3 ecosystems, the scientific committee also evaluate the ecosystemic and socio-economic impacts of the LIFE Adapt'Island project as well as it communication (recently, notably the brochure) and is planning field trips.
Learn more about the LIFE Adapt'Island project at the following link !