UR LER Arcachon & BE Nantes / IFREMER Department
IFREMER activities are centred on the marine environment where basic research is conducted on the ecosystemic approach and where contamination monitoring and chemical risk assessment expertise is developed under national and international organisation. The expertise of the laboratory of the “Environment and Aquatic resources” (LER) and of the research department “Biogeochemistry and Ecotoxicology” (BE) combines sound local knowledge with regional scientific partners having experience in national and international research. Together we examine behaviour and biological effects of contaminants in coastal environments and estuaries. Biogeochemistry of metals and organic contaminants involves determining inventories, fluxes and speciation, followed by numerical modelling. These activities are notably based on expertise acquired in examining the bioaccumulation of PCBs and PBDEs in benthic fish of Atlantic/Channel waters (concurrent approaches using in-situ, mesocosms, and modelling experiments). Trace metal biogeochemistry is also examined to describe the impacts and feedbacks of concentrations and speciation on phytoplankton growth and biodiversity. Ecotoxicological studies are focused on the estuarine continuum. The BE department works with LPTC of Bordeaux: an international group of research (EXECO) recognised by IFREMER-CNRS-INRA. Biological effects are studied with biomarkers and bioassays and are applied to the various trophic levels of marine biota (phytoplankton to fish). Specific genotoxic and transgenerational effects of pesticides and PAHs are evaluated in relation to physiological perturbations during life cycles. Conjugated effects of chemical and environmental factors are considered in a multidisciplinary approach in order to understand and evaluate ecosystem function. This approach is complemented by the main findings on primary production (phytoplankton and zostera) and hydrosedimentary modelling of LER in Arcachon. LER is locally involved with understanding processes and building observation tools with which to monitor and forecast water quality where there is interaction with human activities. This approach is integrated with SHS to develop decision tools for management of the coastal zone in response to the implementations of the Water Framework and marine strategy Directives.
Contribution to LabEx
IFREMER will contribute to LabEx marine ecosystem research animation and will work in conjunction with Univ. of Bordeaux1 regarding assessment development methods, monitoring, predicting quality evolution (chemical and biological) and biological diversity of different ecosystems. As a national institute, IFREMER develops research on the marine coastal environment and is in charge of chemical contaminants monitoring and evaluation of chemical risk along the French coasts. IFREMER will provide LabEx with a thematic knowledge (BE Nantes) of behaviour and ecotoxicological effects of coastal zone chemical contaminants combined with coordination of regional monitoring in the Aquitaine area (LER Arcachon).
Biogeochemical activities involve determining inventories, fluxes, speciation of metals and organic contaminants, and their behaviours, accross the ecosystem. Ecotoxicology studies examine genotoxicity and transgenerational effects on various trophic levels of marine biota. IFREMER’s key contributions are: thirty years of expertise in the national monitoring of chemical contaminants, an implementation of the WFD and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive along the French coasts, and participation to the European monitoring strategy of OSPAR. BE is developing an original ecosystemic approach which joins cognitive and pre-normative research. BE studies the transfers of contaminants in the trophic chain and ecotoxicological effects of chemical contaminants on the sensitive trophic level. It also contributes to the standardisation of chemical and biological indicators for national monitoring. Background responses, assessment criteria, ecological relevance and validation for use in the field for each standardised indicator are achieved according to ICES/OSPAR recommendations and guidelines. BE is the French arm of the European OSPAR and MEDPOL organisations and it contributes to the selection of biological and chemical indicators for monitoring along the North Atlantic coasts and more specifically for DCSMM.