M.Sc. Martin Köring
Zooplankton exert a considerable top-down control on phytoplankton and play an important role in the cycling of organic matter. Thus, they structure plankton communities and link primary production to higher trophic levels. Through the alteration of multiple abiotic parameters global change affects zooplankton at various scales. Nevertheless, most studies to date have estimated the influence of single stressors on zooplankton communities.
My PhD project will focus on how micro- and mesozooplankton communities in the North Sea respond to predicted shifts in multiple abiotic parameters derived by future global change scenarios. Therefore, large-scale mesocosm experiments will be conducted on Sylt, following natural phytoplankton blooms in spring and late-summer. In order to assess the effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature accompanied by a nutrient limitation (phosphate), zooplankton community structure, biomass, fatty acid content and nutrient stoichiometry, as well as trophic interactions will be analyzed. Hence, this project will provide a robust and realistic understanding of how zooplankton communities will be affected by global change in the future which will help to efficiently manage coastal systems.
PACES II 2: Fragile coasts and shelf sea
PACES II 2.2: Species interactions in changing and exploited coastal seas