WP4 will test, through experimentation, the effectiveness of active and passive restoration actions on the recovery of deep-sea communities after disturbance.
Although restoration in the deep sea is recognized as a potential way to mitigate mining impacts, to date there is a lack of practical experience.
In the CCZ, we will explore the ecological effectiveness of artificial nodule placement and sediment decompaction after nodule test-mining. We will elucidate whether recovering communities differ or return to pre-disturbance states, if restoration measures increase the speed of recovery and assess their overall success.
At the nMAR, we will evaluate the effectiveness of different types of artificial substrata for restoration. Moreover, a passive restoration experiment will bring fundamental insights about the resilience and recovery of active vent communities following an induced disturbance.
We will evaluate differences in species and functional diversity between undisturbed/protected (link with WP2) and restored/disturbed (link with WP3) areas. The cost/-benefit of the proposed restoration actions will be evaluated (link with WP5). Recommendations on potential future deep-sea restoration actions (link with WP6) will be given.