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Joint Call launch: Consequences of Changing Marine Lightscapes

JPI Oceans is delighted to launch a new Joint Call on Consequences of Changing Marine Lightscapes aiming to close critical gaps in our understanding of the drivers and ecological impacts of changing marine lightscapes resulting from both Coastal Darkening and Artificial Light at Night. A total of approximately EUR 3.7 million has been made available by the participating Funding Partners for this Joint Call. Deadline for proposals: 30 May 2024.

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  • Pre-announced
  • Launched

Overview

Funding

€ 3,700,000

Duration

Mar 2024 - Jun 2028

Type of action

Joint Call, Infrastructure Sharing

Lead country

Germany

Co-lead country

Norway

Participating countries

Germany
Greece
Ireland
Malta
Norway
Poland
United Kingdom

Marine organisms have evolved in adaptation to the natural light conditions in the ocean, in terms of the amount (intensity), the colours (spectral composition) and the natural cycles (periodicity) of light. Over the last century, however, marine lightscapes in oceanic and coastal regions have changed in two fundamental ways:   

Firstly, some regions have experienced a long-term reduction in water clarity, referred to as Coastal Darkening, with large-scale drivers notably connected to effects of climate change and eutrophication.  

Secondly, some coastal regions are experiencing a brightening of the night-time light environment due to Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) linked to urbanisation, on- and offshore infrastructures, fisheries, and shipping. 

The drivers of change, their interactions and the responses are not fully understood, making it difficult to develop effective management strategies. Consequently, there is an urgent need to understand the impact of changes in marine lightscapes on the marine environment. 

The scope of this call results from a yearlong scoping process involving scientists nominated by JPI Oceans member countries. The scoping resulted in a Concept Paper that was approved by the JPI Oceans Management Board in April 2023.  

Based on the scientific input to the Concept Paper and exchanges among the participating countries in the Joint Call, the following scope was agreed for the call:  

Proposals should address one or more of the following consequences of changing marine lightscapes:  

  • Biodiversity, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, including primary production
  • Photobiology and ecophysiology, including light-induced seasonal timing of organismal behaviour
  • Ecosystem functioning and food web architecture, and ecosystem services including sustainable fisheries 

Furthermore, projects should explore mitigation measures using approaches such as marine and maritime spatial management tools, strategies for monitoring and mitigating changes in marine lightscapes, technological innovations, and/or novel policy interventions.  

Proposals may also: 

  • include observations of light changes (field work or previously collected knowledge) in the marine environment, e.g., spatiotemporal changes in the intensities, spectral characteristics and cycles of marine lightscapes, approaches for measuring changes in marine lightscapes and/or novel approaches to predict future marine lightscapes; and 
  • discuss causes of light changes such as changes in land-ocean interactions, climate change and ocean-atmosphere interactions, and/or urbanisation, extensive port activities and maritime industries. 

The projects are expected to carry out dedicated dissemination activities about the consequences for marine ecosystems, covering the drivers of changing lightscapes, possible mitigation measures, and policy implications.  

Please consult the call text for the full description of the call, including procedures and criteria and national funding rules (annex 2).

Timeline
  • Call publication: 2 April 2024
  • Deadline for submitting proposals: 30 May 2024 - 17:00 CEST
  • Selection of full proposals: Q4 2024
  • Start of projects: Q1/Q2 2025 
Funding partners

Funding partners from Germany, Greece*, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom have made available a total amount of app. EUR 3.7 million for the call. 

  • The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Germany 
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece
  • Marine Institute, Ireland 
  • The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), Malta 
  • The Research Council of Norway (RCN), Norway 
  • The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Poland  
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), United Kingdom  

* The contribution of Greece is in the form of in-kind infrastructure sharing. 

Eligibility 

Each application must involve eligible research partners and/or industry partners from at least two participating countries (countries of the FUNDING PARTNERS); no maximum number of partners is specified. Applicants from countries not funding this call may participate as ASSOCIATE PARTNER with their own resources (cash or in-kind).  

For the full eligibility criteria please consult the call text, including national criteria in annex 2. 

All proposals need to be submitted through the online portal: https://jpio-lightscapes.eu