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The salt marshes in the Wadden Sea - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - are one of the few truly pristine ecosystems in North-West Europe. Their well-developed vegetation is crucial to protect the coast, for the carbon storage, and it acts as a key stop-over for many migrating birds. Climate change, e.g. the rising sea levels, can cause permanent damage on salt marshes. In this respect Schiermonnikoog is seen as a ‘last resort’.


Prof.dr. Joana Falcao Salles

"please give for more insight into the impact of climate change on salt marshes"

The research

To understand the impact of future climate change scenarios on salt marshes, I want to study the mutualist interactions between plant, microbes and soil detritivores in the salt marsh.

The need

The main part of the funding will be used for the unique research technique called ‘metatranscriptomic’. This technique is required to map the processes that influence the biochemical changes in salt marsh and processes by which the microbial community stimulates the growth of plants and live on the soil. You support helps me to understanding this process which is crucial to quantify the impact of future climate change scenarios on salt marshes, as well as to developing restoration strategies of degraded areas, under natural and stressed environmental conditions. The outcomes are crucial to support wildlife more broadly across other Wadden Sea island and down the coastal areas in the mainland.

Would you please help us? We welcome any donation!


Joana Falcao Salles

Faculty of Science and Engineering
GELIFES — Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences