Biodiversity changes - 

causes, consequences and management implications



BIO-C3 will investigate the dynamics of biodiversity in the Baltic Sea, their causes and the consequences for the function of food webs, including implications for biodiversity management policies. Baltic biodiversity is historically dynamic responding to various drivers operating at different time and space scales. Species diversity is generally low and contains many recent immigrants and glacial relict species because of low salinity and relatively young age. Nevertheless, Baltic food webs sustain many goods and services valued by society. We focus on functional consequences of ongoing and projected distributional and compositional changes of benthic and pelagic communities with a focus on invasive and resident key species. Using spatial and temporal projections of abiotic/biotic drivers including their interaction (climate change, eutrophication, species invasions, fisheries), we will assess how biodiversity (e. g., of species, traits, habitats) responds in time, space and along gradients of human impact and hydrography. We will investigate the potential and genetic basis for colonisation, acclimation and adaptation of species and populations to the Baltic Sea, and how compositional and adaptive changes of Baltic biodiversity affect ecosystem functions with an emphasis on trophic linkage and food web dynamics. Results will feed into impact assessments that guide management policies including improved operationalization of status indicators, and guidelines for MPAs.


Photo: C. Jaspers