To investigate the dynamics of biodiversity in the Baltic Sea, their causes and the consequences for the function of food webs. This includes implications for biodiversity management policies.
Baltic biodiversity is historically dynamic responding to various drivers. Species diversity is generally low and contains many recent immigrants and glacial relict species because of low salinity and relatively young age of the Baltic. Nevertheless, Baltic food webs sustain many goods and services valued by society. With global change, distributional and compositional changes of benthic and pelagic communities are occurring and/or projected, raising concern about consequences for this system.
Using projections of abiotic/biotic drivers (climate change, eutrophication, species invasions, fisheries), BIO-C3 will assess how biodiversity responds in time and space. We will investigate the potential and genetic basis for colonisation, acclimation and adaptation of species and
populations to extreme conditions in the Baltic Sea, and how compositional and adaptive changes of Baltic biodiversity affect ecosystem functions. Results will feed into impact assessments that guide management policies including improved operationalization of status indicators, and guidelines for MPAs.
BIO-C3 is a research project that started in January 2014 and will be running for four years with participants from 13 institutes in 7 European countries.
The project is coordinated by Professor Thorsten Reusch.
For more information visit BIO-C3's website.