Project Details


The multidisciplinary research cruise (16-30 September 2015) was aiming to investigate the distribution, abundance, biomass, production, nutritional condition and genetic diversity of several, trophically interlinked Baltic key species, ranging from zoo-, and ichthyoplankton over gelatinous organisms to adult fish, including non-indigenous species. The collected samples and data are used in the BONUS project Biodiversity changes—causes, consequences and management implications (BIO-C3), aiming to significantly advance our knowledge base towards the importance and management of the Baltic Sea biodiversity in an ecosystem perspective.

Using the contrasting environments of the Arkona, Bornholm, Gdansk and Gotland Basin, the major scientific goals of the cruise have been to resolve:
- Physiological preferences and tolerances of key meso-zooplankton species (Pseudocalanus acuspes, Temora longicornis, Centropages hamatus and Acartia spp), through controlled experiments on board with specimens caught in different areas of the central Baltic in contrasting environments, including a verification of species based on genetics.
- Abundance, distribution, nutritional condition and phenology of key zooplankton (see above) and their life stages as well as gelatinous plankton species (Aurelia aurita, Cyanea capillata, Mertensia ovum, Mnemiopsis leidyi) in different areas of the central Baltic, through net-sampling and deploying hydroacoustics and optics, as well as biochemical analyses.
- Individual condition, abundance and distribution of spawning herring and cod based on trawl sampling and hydroacoustics including biochemical investigations on the quality of spawning products.
- Abundance and survival of herring and cod ichthyoplankton, through net-sampling based stage specific production estimates, including age determination, nutritional condition and growth in relation to abundance, phenology and composition of zooplankton prey.
- Predation pressure on copepods and fish early life stages by herring and sprat as well as gelatinous plankton (see above) through resolving the spatial overlap between predator and prey at relevant scales as well as diet composition analyses.
- Distribution (vertical and horizontal) of sprat and herring through trawl sampling and hydroacoustics in relation to hydrography, zooplankton prey and predator (cod) abundance, with specific focus on growth, condition and survival of young of the year sprat in different areas of the central Baltic.

This project was coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by Danish Center for Marine Research.
Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem DynamicsResearch area: Fish Biology
Effective start/end date16/09/201530/09/2015

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (Project partner)
  • National Marine Fisheries Research Institute (Project partner)
  • Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Project partner)
  • University of Tartu (Project partner)
  • University of Hamburg (Project partner)
  • Johann Heinrich von Thunen Institute (Project partner)


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