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  • 1
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    Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen
    In:  In: Warnsignal Klima: Die Biodiversität. , ed. by Lozan, J. L., Breckle, S. W., Müller, R. and Rachor, E. Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, Germany, pp. 277-283. ISBN 978-3-9809668-1-8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-08
    Description: Dieses Kapitel bietet dem Leser eine Einleitung in die Biodiversität der Ostsee mit Schwerpunkt auf denn vorherrschenden Trends und den umweltbedingten sowie anthropogen-verursachten Stressoren, die das marine Leben dieser Region beeinflussen. Eine intensive Literaturrecherche zeigt die übereinstimmende Auffassung über die schädlichen Folgen des globalen Wandels, der Eutrophierung, biologischer Invasionen, der Zerstörung von Lebensräumen und der Überbeanspruchung kommerziell genutzter Arten für die Biodiversität dieser Region. Interaktionen dieser Umweltbelastungen, sowie die äußerst variablen Umweltbedingungen auf regionaler und lokaler Ebene und die heterogenen Toleranzen der vorkommenden Arten beeinträchtigen eine Abschätzung über die Folgen des Biodiversitätsverlustes für marine Ökosysteme. Dies wird zusätzlich durch Wissenslücken zum aktuellen Status der Biodiversität erschwert. Deshalb soll in diesem Kapitel ein kritischer Blick auf fehlende Informationen und deren Gründe geworfen werden, um Impulse für die Priorisierung künftiger ökologischer Studien zu setzen, welche effektive Strategien für den Erhalt und die nachhaltige Nutzung der Ostsee in Zeiten des globalen Wandels ermöglichen sollen. The present chapter will introduce the reader to the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea, paying special attention to the trends currently described and the environmental and human stressors that affect marine life. An intensive revision of the available scientific bibliography showed a general agreement on the detrimental effects that global warming, eutrophication, biological invasions, habitat destruction and overexploitation have on the biodiversity in this region. The interactions between these human pressures, highly variable environmental conditions at regional and local scales, and the heterogeneous tolerances of resident species prevent the prediction of the potential consequences that the loss of biodiversity could have on marine ecosystems. Knowledge gaps on the current state of biodiversity increase the uncertainty. In this context, the present chapter will give a critical look towards missing information and its causes, highlighting what the priorities of ecological research should be, in order to generate effective conservation strategies for the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea in a century of dramatic changes.
    Type: Book chapter , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Highlights • Records of hard-bottom communities show regional differences in community dynamics. • Regionally, signs of regime shift were detected. • Shift can be explained by the decline of the foundation species Mytilus sp. • Modelling process revealed three environmental variables explaining the decline. • Regional differences in larval dispersal could explain contrary Mytilus recoveries. Abstract Ecological processes modulate ecosystem functioning and services. Foundation species are those exerting intense control on such processes as both their existence and loss have profound implications on the structure of ecological communities. For the distinction between random fluctuations and directional regime shifts in community composition, long-term records are of strategic need. In this study we present the monitoring of benthic hard-bottom communities over 11 years along seven stations in the SW Baltic Sea. Regional differences were found between the communities of Kiel and Lübeck bights, with the former area displaying signs of regime shift. The decline and near disappearance of the foundational species Mytilus edulis from settlement panels deployed in Kiel Bight correlated with three environmental variables: sea surface temperature, water current speed and chlorophyll a concentration. Thus, low spring temperatures, in some cases reinforced by local maxima of chlorophyll a, correlated with reduced recruitment of Mytilus. Moreover, regional differences of larval dispersal and population connectivity could explain the rapid recovery after disturbance of the mussel populations in Lübeck Bight in contrast to Kiel Bight. Our findings underscore the relevance of long-term monitoring programmes to detect the interactive impacts of global climatic and regional environmental drivers.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-11-14
    Description: Warming is one of the most dramatic aspects of climate change and threatens future ecosystem functioning. It may alter primary productivity and thus jeopardize carbon sequestration, a crucial ecosystem service provided by coastal environments. Fucus vesiculosus is an important canopy-forming macroalga in the Baltic Sea, and its main consumer is Idotea balthica. The objective of this study is to understand how temperature impacts a simplified food web composed of macroalgae and herbivores to quantify the effect on organic carbon storage. The organisms were exposed to a temperature gradient from 5 to 25 °C. We measured and modeled primary production, respiration, growth and epiphytic load on the surface of Fucus and respiration, growth and egestion of Idotea. The results show that temperature affects physiological responses of Fucus and Idotea separately. However, Idotea proved more sensitive to increasing temperatures than the primary producers. The lag between the collapse of the grazer and the decline of Fucus and epiphytes above 20 °C allows an increase of carbon storage of the primary productivity at higher temperatures. Therefore, along the temperature gradient, the simplified food web stores carbon in a non-monotonic way (reaching minimum at 20 °C). Our work stresses the need of considering the combined metabolic performance of all organisms for sound predictions on carbon circulation in food webs.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-09-28
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-2322
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Published by Springer Nature
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-11-18
    Description: Pathways to link biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: from monitoring to complex ecological interactions studies
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-11-18
    Description: Biofouling is predicted to increase in the course of global warming, making the study and monitoring of its ecological and economic consequences of great importance. The present study describes, for the first time, recruitment and successional patterns of fouling communities in the Caspian Sea. During one year, short-term panels (STP; replaced every 2 months) and long-term panels (LTP; retrieved after 4, 8 and 12 months) were deployed in the Western Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea. Temporal trends in both sets of panels were evaluated through Generalized Additive Models and discussed in light of the environmental variables registered in each sampling event. Recruitment and successional patterns observed at the community level were mainly driven by barnacles and bryozoans, the dominant taxa over the entire sampling period. Panel coverage, biomass and inorganic to organic matter ratio exhibited clear seasonal patterns in STP, following temperature and chlorophyll a trends. In LTP, coverage and biomass increased over the study period, while the inorganic to organic matter ratio peaked in summer and decreased during autumn and winter months. These results represent a baseline for future studies on biofouling communities in the Caspian Sea, where this topic has been completely neglected.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-11-18
    Description: In the course of the ongoing global intensification and diversification of human pressures, the study of variation patterns of biological traits along environmental gradients can provide relevant information on the performance of species under shifting conditions. The pronounced salinity gradient, co‐occurrence of multiple stressors, and accelerated rates of change make the Baltic Sea and its transition to North Sea a suitable region for this type of study. Focusing on the bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus, one of the main foundation species on hard‐bottoms of the Baltic Sea, we analyzed the phenotypic variation among populations occurring along 2,000 km of coasts subjected to salinities from 4 to 〉30 and a variety of other stressors. Morphological and biochemical traits, including palatability for grazers, were recorded at 20 stations along the Baltic Sea and four stations in the North Sea. We evaluated in a common modeling framework the relative contribution of multiple environmental drivers to the observed trait patterns. Salinity was the main and, in some cases, the only environmental driver of the geographic trait variation in F. vesiculosus. The decrease in salinity from North Sea to Baltic Sea stations was accompanied by a decline in thallus size, photosynthetic pigments, and energy storage compounds, and affected the interaction of the alga with herbivores and epibiota. For some traits, drivers that vary locally such as wave exposure, light availability or nutrient enrichment were also important. The strong genetic population structure in this macroalgae might play a role in the generation and maintenance of phenotypic patterns across geographic scales. In light of our results, the desalination process projected for the Baltic Sea could have detrimental impacts on F. vesiculosus in areas close to its tolerance limit, affecting ecosystem functions such as habitat formation, primary production, and food supply.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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