What is the FORCIS project?

FORCIS is the acronym for “Foraminifera response to Climatic Stress” – the objective : to evaluate the biodiversity changes of calcifying zooplankton in response to multiple stressors by building an ambitious database gathering planktonic foraminifera informations from the water column since the 40s!

FORCIS is currently funded by the CESAB Fondation Recherche sur la Biodiversité, and received some support from the Labex OT-Med & the INSU LEFE program

Globorotalia menardii

FORCIS in a bit more detail

Anthropogenic CO2emissions lead to oceanic warming, and a decrease in surface water pH. Such ocean acidification (OA) is known to affect calcifying plankton groups, a key component of the carbonate pump. Fossilized shells of planktonic foraminifera comprise a major carbonate flux to the deep sea, which makes understanding their dynamics vitally important to decipher in a rapidly changing global climate. Historical changes in planktonic foraminiferal assemblages have not yet been synthesized globally, despite numerous individual collection efforts. The FORCIS project is filling this critical gap with a global synthesis with modern digital tools of data management and analysis. Evidently, these organisms are responding to environment change. FORCIS assesses census counts and hydrographic data since the early 1940’s to yield insights into key biodiversity metrics over the past decades, and thus also improve eco-physiological and population dynamics models. The ultimate FORCIS goal is to understand the importance of the main stressors such as temperature and OA that govern species distribution and calcification processes, with focus on present and near-future ocean impacts.