COST Action – Marine Animal Forest of the World (MAF WORLD)

COST Action – Marine Animal Forest of the World (MAF WORLD)

COST Action – Marine Animal Forest of the World (MAF WORLD) 2560 1256 Ocean Decade

Lead institution:

CoNISMa – Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare – Italy

Major marine biodiversity hotspots occur within and around extended three-dimensional communities known as Marine Animal Forests (MAFs). 

MAFs are biotic assemblages mainly composed of suspension-feeding organisms like sponges, gorgonians, hard corals, bryozoans, bivalves, etc., that form canopies like the trees or shrubs on land, thus creating underwater forests. As Aichi targets have been impossible to achieve by 2020, we need networks that allow working together for the same objective, with special attention to marine ecosystems as the MAFs. These ecosystems provide services which are essential for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. 

In the Ocean Decade, this endorsed Action aims to provide the scientific basis for understanding and preserving MAFs, helping to unify different protocols (e.g. mapping, restoration, ecosystem services) that will help tackle climate change, natural disasters, & food crisis. 

This Project is hosted by the Ocean Decade Programme Sustainability of Marine Ecosystems through global knowledge networks (SMARTNET) 

Start Date: 03/10/2021
End Date: 02/10/2025 

Discover more here. 

Contact point: Sergio Rossi Heras –

ocean_basins: Arctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean
type_of_action: Project


The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want





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