External Organisations

  • Swedish Meteorological and Hydrographic Institute (SMHI), Sweden
  • Baltic Sea Research Institute, Warnemuende, Germany
  • GKSS Research Center Geesthacht GmbH, Germany
  • University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Baltic Nest Institute, Stockholm University, Sweden

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The Baltic Sea is subject to several major human impacts, and three of the most important are fishing, eutrophication and climate change. Understanding and projecting how these impacts will affect the food web and its fish populations in future is therefore challenging, and requires modelling approaches which include climatic-hydrographic forcing, nutrient loading scenarios and likely fishing intensities. Present models exist which can assess each of these impacts individually, but no framework yet exists to consider how all these impacts interact and combine to affect ecological responses. As a result, projections of ecological responses to management decisions are based on incomplete and highly fragmented, discipline-specific modelling approaches.

ECOSUPPORT is a project whose objective is to develop an advanced modelling tool for conducting scenario simulations of how these human impacts affect the marine ecosystem and fish populations. The project is based on the coupling of several different types of models so that end-to-end ecosystem models can be developed which can help to understand how human impacts will influence the Baltic food web and fish populations. The models to be linked will be regional climate models, oceanographic-lower trophic level ecosystem models (Nutrient-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton-Detritus) and fish population models. In addition, sensitivity and uncertainty of ecological responses (e. g., development of cod biomass) in response to different model parameterizations will be assessed by comparing results using different model setups with identical forcing. This will be possible because the project includes 3 different NPZD models and 3-4 fish population and upper trophic level models. Model quality will be assessed based on existing time series of measurements of key variables (e. g., SST, phytoplankton biomass, zooplanktivorous and piscivorous fish abundances) and uncertainty of future scenarios can be quantified using ensemble averaging across model frameworks.

Partners in the project are the above mentioned and five other marine research institutes around the Baltic Sea.

The project is coordinated by Swedish Meteorological and Hydrographic Institute, Sweden.
StatusCompleted
Period01/01/0931/12/11

Keywords

  • Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
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ID: 2289833