Minugulay Reef Complex Case Study
The Migulay Reef Complex, situated off the west coast of Scotland, is the only known inshore cold-water coral reef in UK waters and supports high levels of biodiversity. Recent research on the ecohydrodynamics of the region, coupled with biogeochemistry, coral physiology and geological history has highlighted how integrated the system is from the coral individuals to the ecosystem biogeochemistry. The question remains however, as to how future climate change will impact upon the dynamics and future success of this key marine system. To address this, more detailed studies are need of the MRC under present day conditions, including integrated hydrodynamic and biogeochemical modelling with increased temporal and spatial resolution, an understanding of how metabolic and nutirent fluxes in the benthic community interact with regional biogeochemistry. The MRC provides an ideal case study to develop understanding of the dynamics and properties of a whole system, crossing disciplines and MASTS themes. Integrating current and future research within modelled future climate change scenarios would enable the assessment of how future climate chnage will alter the dynamics of this key Scottish marine system.
To facilitiate these ideas, MASTS hosted a 2 day workshop to bring together interested parties to present existing data on the MRC, discuss research and information gaps, and to form new collaborations to seek competitive funding.