ROC-POPLife is a concrete conservation action aimed at restoring habitat 1170 in two marine Natura2000 sites (which are Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance – SPAMI) through the reintroduction of Cystoseira sensu lato species. The project involves the implantation of cultured Cystoseira juveniles, with advantages in terms of time, cost and ecological impact.
The non-destructive approach allowed restoration without damaging donor sites, which is essential given the critical conservation status of the species. The method is suitable for large-scale application with replication in other Mediterranean regions. Cystoseira plays a key role in marine conservation by supporting biodiversity and food webs and sequestering large amounts of CO2. All Cystoseira species are part of a Habitat of Community Interest: the different species are used for the definition of the Natura2000 Habitat1170 (Reef) and have priority in SPAMI MPAs. Several Cystoseira species are listed as Strictly Protected in the Annex I of the Bern Convention, and the Mediterranean Action Plan (Barcelona Convention) lists conservation of all but one Cystoseira species as a priority. Cystoseira is under surveillance as endangered by IUCN, SPA /RAC and MedPAN.
Here you can find our layman report available for download