Visit to the Marine Biology Station of Funchal

The Marine Biology Station of Funchal is a research center set in the Lido of Funchal. The center was born on the 28th of September 1999 and it is part of the European Network of Marine Biology stations (MARS) and the Portuguese Institute of Marine Research (IMAR).

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The work of the center is very important for the studies of the ocean around the island of Madeira, including the study of the species that populate the ocean and make it such an incredible sourse of biodiversity. Studying and monitoring the biodiversity of the ocean is fundamental for the preservation of the species and also to understand the changes that are happening because of the see temerature’s increase.

This effect is a consequence  of the global warming, that in the future could have a massive impact on the biodiveristy of the ocean. A small variation of the temperature of the ocean can generate an important change in the biodiverity of a particoular area. For example in the area of Madeira the increase of the temperature of the ocean caused the phenomenon for wich some species moved north to find a lower temperature while other tropical species appeared around the island.

The center is collecting a huge archive of the different species, most of them are kept in glass conteiners, in order to be cataloged and have a proof in case a particoular species exstiguishes or a new one appears and can be recognised trough the confrontation with the old one.

 

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The pollution of the ocean is an important issue that affects the life of many species. For example a lot of turtles dies because they eat plastic bags that float in the water confusing them for jellyfish. The center also works as veterinary station for some injured animals that are brought in the center and kept in big pools for a period in wich some specialist cure them.

Another interesting and very unexpected thing we descovered during this visit is that the government of Portugal sinks old boat around the island.  Beyon getting rid of old boats that nobody can use nowadays, the reason why they do this consists in creating  micro environment were the see species can concentrate and grow once the boats are sunk.

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In the Marine Biology Station there is also a library that contains books and catalogues of the researches about marine biology of the station and of the University of Madeira. The station also organizes open events to the pubblic and some activities in local schools.

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Volunteers at the Marine Biology Station

 


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