|Division||Biosciences | Shelf Sea System Ecology | PlanktoSERV|
Alfred Wegener Institute
( Room A-226)
Oceans worldwide are under rapid changes due to global perturbations; understanding the consequences of this phenomenon is a current major issue to keep environmental quality and ecosystem functioning. Global change effects, such as ocean acidification, temperature rising and alteration in nutrient concentrations, have direct influence on natural marine ecosystems. Phytoplankton communities are responsible for about 50% of the total primary production on Earth and play a key role in the CO2 biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling. Given their importance, disturbances in this group might heavily impact the whole functioning of marine systems. Hence, this project aims to evaluate the effects of global change on phytoplankton communities considering predicted shifts in abiotic parameters for the North Sea. Two mesocosm experiments will manipulate multiple stressors (pCO2, temperature and nutrients) to assess variations in the phytoplankton biomass, species composition, biodiversity and primary production. The experiments will take place at the beginning of spring and end of summer, when the main natural phytoplankton blooms occur. Parallel bioassay experiments will provide additional information about limiting parameters in the system, such as nutrients.
PACES II 2: Fragile coasts and shelf sea
PACES II 2.2: Species interactions in changing and exploited coastal seas