Influence of ecological dynamics and climate change on the marine environment in Danish waters (ECODYN) (38136)

Project Details


The environment in the open Danish waters is controlled by a complex interplay between physical and biological processes, and it is therefore difficult to determine the exact cause of changes in the environment. This is also the situation for hypoxia, which is caused both by nutrients from sources ashore, by ecological dynamics of the waters, and by the flow in Kattegat and the Belts.

This project examined the marine environment through three-dimensional numerical models which describe both physical and biological processes. In parallel, laboratory experiments clarified how temperature affects the biological rates at or near the sea floor. This was used to model the response of the ecosystem to the temperature increases which are expected as a result of climate change, and the future consequences for the marine environment were analyzed.

Through model simulations and oxygen measurements from ships and buoys, the biological processes leading to hypoxia were determined with the so far highest resolution in time and space; this contributed significantly to the understanding of the functioning of the ecosystem in this area.

The connection between the state of the marine environment and the abundance of fish was analyzed, focusing on the distribution and spawning regions of cod, in relation to the oxygen conditions in the inner Danish waters and in the Baltic Sea. Thereby, the project provided a description of interconnections between the ecosystem, the water flow, and the effects of a changing climate.

The project was coordinated by Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark and funded by the Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Research area: Marine Living Resources
Research area: Oceanography
Research area: Marine Populations and Ecosystem Dynamics
Research area: Fish Biology
Effective start/end date01/01/200801/04/2012