Getting the Little Belt into balance (39756)

Project Details


The objectives of the project are:
1) Marine habitat improvements.
2) Scientific documentation of the effects of the marine habitat improvements.
3) Dissemination of points 1) and 2).

The project is managed by a collaboration between three municipalities in central Denmark. The collaboration (Naturpark Lillebælt) is governing a large nature park where the marine environment is a central element.

DTU Aqua is researching three elements within the project:

A) Documentation of the effects of a marine protected area (MPA) that will be established within the nature park. DTU Aqua will examine whether juvenile Atlantic cod remain inside the MPA and are therefore protected by the MPA. Fish will be tagged with acoustic transmitters and will be tracked across time to document fish residence time inside the MPA.

B) Documentation of the effects of a boulder reef that will be established near a river mouth inside the nature park. The goal of the reef is to enhance habitats for juvenile brown trout (smolts) that are emigrating from the river. Previous studies in Denmark have documented that smolts are often targeted by predators shortly after emigrating from rivers. The boulder reef is established to reduce predation risk and enhance foraging opportunities for the emigrating fish. Smolt migration will be mapped using acoustic telemetry before and after the reef is established to examine changes in habitat use by the smolts.

C) Documentation of the effects of biohuts installed in harbors inside the nature park. Biohuts are meant to provide suitable habitats for small and juvenile fish in the local area. The biohuts will be investigated using underwater cameras following established protocols.

National Institute of Aquatic Resources, DTU Aqua
Naturpark Lillebælt, Denmark (coordinator)
Aarhus University, Denmark

The project is funded by Velux Foundation and the Nordea Foundation.

Research area: Coastal Ecology
Effective start/end date01/03/202029/02/2024


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