Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First full-coverage underwater biotope map of the German Baltic Sea developed at IOW

18.09.2015

A research team from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) has now generated the first map that provides a detailed full-coverage description of the underwater biotopes of the German Baltic Sea and the German exclusive economic zone. Based on an internationally recognised classification system, it combines information about occurring species communities with information about abiotic habitat traits. The new map will facilitate the execution of national and international nature directives and there-fore is a valuable tool for implementing an environmentally friendly marine management.

With nine riparian states and about 85 million people living in its catchment area, the Baltic Sea is exposed to an intensive human influence. A key requirement to regulate such an intensive utilisation in a transparent way and without conflict is an internationally harmonised maritime spatial planning (MSP), which regulates the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities at sea.


Biotope map after to Schiele et. al. 2015 (detailed key: see original paper): About 20 % of the German Baltic Sea comprises biotopes well worth protecting such as Arctica islandica-dominated muds.

IOW

MSP also plays an essential role in achieving envi-ronmental objectives within binding EU regulations such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive. The effective implementation of these directives requires a sound knowledge of underwater habitats and the occurring species communities.

However, even though the Baltic Sea is one of the best studied regional seas in the world, to-date no large-scale information on the spatial distribution of underwater biotopes has been published for any of its riparian states. The main reason probably is the lack of areal data on underwater species communities as environmental investigations usually are based on point sampling or point observations.

For the German Baltic Sea and the adjacent German exclusive economic zone (EEZ) this knowledge gap has now been closed by a research team headed by IOW marine biologist Kerstin Schiele, who combined the analysis of extensive sample material with novel model-ing techniques to extrapolate point data for the entire study area.

Several thousand samples of benthic organisms were analysed, which had been taken over a 14-year-period (1999 -2013) at more than 2000 sites. The researchers determined the abundance and biomass of macrozoobenthos species – mainly mussels, snails, small crustaceans and marine worms – considered to be character species for certain biotopes.

In a second step, the scientists compiled extensive data sets on abiotic environmental parameters for the study area, such as water depth and temperature, current, salinity, oxygen consumption, and sediment grain-size, by combining data measured at the sampling sites with respective data published in other contexts.

The biological and environmental data were subject to several different computerized analyses a) to identify the occurring biotope types according to the internationally applied HELCOM HUB (H elsinki Com mission U nderwater B iotope and H abitat classification system) and b) to determine the spatial distribution of the biotopes in the study area.

“In total, we identified 68 different HELCOM HUB biotope types. About 20 % of the modeled area comprises Red-listed or other very rare biotopes well worth protecting,” Kerstin Schiele comments on the results. Due to the extensive data sets, the modeling of biotope occurrence and spatial distribution proved to be very successful: For 95 % of the study area the differentiation level necessary for identifying underwater biotopes according to HELCOM HUB was achieved.

“This points to a good applicability of the map as an effective tool for attaining more nature conservation in MSP. The boundaries between underwater biotopes are subject to continuous dynamic change. However, since the new biotope map integrates data from more than 10 years, it provides a good orientation for survey planning to evaluate protection needs of certain areas prior to human intervention,” the marine biologist explains. “Furthermore, the use of an internationally recognized classification system is a good basis for other Baltic Sea states to develop compatible biotope maps,” Schiele concludes.

Generated on behalf of Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the new biotope map was published recently together with the corresponding research in “Marine Pollution Bulletin”: Kerstin S. Schiele, Alexander Darr, Michael L. Zettler, René Friedland, Franz Tauber, Mario von Weber, Joachim Voss (2015) - Biotope map of the German Baltic Sea (doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.05.038, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26003386).

The study was conducted in cooperation with the State Agency for Environment, Nature Conservation and Geology Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as well as the State Agency for Agri-culture, Environment and Rural Areas Schleswig-Holstein.

*Scientific Contact:
Dr. Kerstin Schiele | IOW working group Ecology of benthic organisms
Phone: +49 (0)381 5197 423 | kerstin.schiele@io-warnemuende.de

*Press and Public Relations at IOW:
Dr. Kristin Beck | Phone: +49 (0)381 – 5197 135 | kristin.beck@io-warnemuende.de
Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | Phone: +49 (0)381 – 5197 102 | barbara.hentzsch@io-warnemuende.de

The IOW is a member of the Leibniz Association with currently 89 research institutes and scientific infrastructure facilities. The focus of the Leibniz Institutes ranges from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economic, social and space sciences as well as to the humanities. The institutes are jointly financed at the state and national levels. The Leibniz Institutes employ a total of 18.100 people, of whom 9.200 are scientists. The total budget of the institutes is 1.64 billion Euros. (http://www.leibniz-association.eu)

Dr. Kristin Beck | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>