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Shelf Seas Systems Ecology

Young seal in the water around the dune

Young seal in the water around the dune

Student excursion on rocky shores of Helgoland

Student excursion on rocky shores of Helgoland

Diver collecting material in a Laminaria forest

Diver collecting material in a Laminaria forest

The section Shelf Seas Systems Ecology seeks to unify the interdisciplinary scientists working on the interactions and transactions within and between biological and physical shelf sea systems. Its emphasis currently lies with North Sea systems ranging from rocky shores through to pelagic systems.

Its goals include the provision of a discussion and organisational forum for the scientists, particularly at the Biological Station Helgoland, to underpin the AWIs coastal programme with themes in the interdisciplinary field of the ecology of shallow coastal seas.

Its focus and scientists:

  • provide expertise on the physiological adaptations of benthic and pelagic organisms to a changing shelf sea environment
  • provide expertise on food web interactions from bacteria through to fish
  • provide information on biodiversity shifts at Helgoland Roads
  • ensure that information on long-term changes at Helgoland Roads and comparable sites is upheld and transported to the national and international community
  • have transferable skills for polar coastal research

 

The section has strong linkages to the section Coastal Ecology, Ecological Chemistry, Marine Biogeology and Functional Ecology as well as interacts closely with the ecosystem modellers of the AWI and the international community.

Its scientists partake in the running of the BAH. They ensure the provision of ecological themes and information to the long term goals of the AWI- namely climate research and global and regional models of a rapidly changing planet.

The key question addressed by the section Shelf Sea Systems Ecology is on how North Sea ecosystems are influenced by anthropomorphic pressure particularly climate change.

 

Researchers within the section e.g.

  • work on the shifts on system states in the North Sea,
  • analyse the stoichiometric transfer of resources through trophic levels,
  • focus on changed linkages in food webs
  • work on physiological adaptations of organisms to changing shelf seas
  • analyse the effects of introduced species on benthic ecosystems.

 
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