EcoChange – Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate

Climate changes threaten to accentuate the problems with eutrophication and overfishing in the Baltic Sea, leading to ecosystem changes of hitherto unprecedented magnitudes. The research programme EcoChange deals with the ecological consequences of climate changes on the Baltic Sea, and how the Baltic Sea will respond.

EcoChange is a part of the government's strategic research initiative on marine environmental research. The research programme is a collaboration between Umeå University, Linnaeus University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and is hosted by Umeå University. EcoChange was originally funded for 2010–2014. The funding was prolonged during 2015-2016 while awaiting further government decisions. At the end of the year 2016 the government decided to prolong the programme until 2020. Around sixty scientists work within the EcoChange programme.

Spotlight

Climate changes may lead to more poisonous mercury in plankton

Climate changes may lead to more poisonous mercury in plankton

Research Global warming is expected to increase runoff and input of organic matter to aquatic ecosystems in large regions of the Northern hemisphere including the Baltic Sea. Research performed in Sweden is now indicating a sevenfold increase in poisonous methylmercury in zooplankton as a consequence. This increase is due to an altered structure of the aquatic food web. The study has been published in the journal Science Advances.


More river water decreases the coastal sea production

More river water decreases the coastal sea production

Research When the discharge of river water into the sea increases, for example as an effect of climate change, the ratio between phytoplankton and bacteria production will change. Phytoplankton growth is disfavoured by both the organic carbon in the river water and the changes in depth of the upper layer of water. This is shown in a new study performed within the research programme EcoChange.

EcoChange News

More river water decreases the coastal sea production

2017-02-01
When the discharge of river water into the sea increases, for example as an effect of climate change, the ratio between phytoplankton and bacteria production will change. Phytoplankton growth is disfavoured by both the organic carbon in the river water and the changes in depth of the upper layer of ...

BBC reports on climate research in Umeå

2017-01-31
The BBC has interviewed researcher Erik Björn owing to his internationally recognized new study that shows that climate change could lead to up to seven times more toxic mercury in fish.

Climate changes may lead to more poisonous mercury in plankton

2017-01-27
Global warming is expected to increase runoff and input of organic matter to aquatic ecosystems in large regions of the Northern hemisphere including the Baltic Sea. Research performed in Sweden is now indicating a sevenfold increase in poisonous methylmercury in zooplankton as a consequence. This i...

Ice project funded by Formas

2016-12-16
EcoChange researcher Jenny Ask has received funding from Formas for a project about ice-cover regimes in northern aquatic ecosystems. The project will focus on how future changes in ice-cover will impact aquatic carbon metabolism, algal biomass build-up and water-atmosphere gas exchange.

Phytoplankton communities structured by carbon from land

2016-12-13
EcoChange researcher Joanna Paczkowska has focused on the base of the food web, to figure out what climate change will do to the ecosystem along a north-south gradient in the Baltic Sea. She proves that carbon compounds originating from land have a great impact on the structure and function of the i...

Amazing cyanobacteria diversity revealed

2016-09-01
Every year news media report on troublesome blooms of cyanobacteria. The problems are related to the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, and with the climate change the blooms are predicted to worsen. Cyanobacteria seem to be extremely capable of adapting to changes in the environment. However, it is ...

More News from EcoChange


Page Editor: Kristina Viklund
2017-01-18

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Scientific coordinator

Agneta Andersson
Prof. Dept of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Umeå University 

Tel:  +46 90 786 98 45

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Vice coordinator

Catherine Legrand
Prof. School of Natural Sciences, Pro-rector
Linnaeus University 

Tel:  +46 480 44 73 09

Contact Form

Programme Board

Marianne Sommarin, Chairman
Deputy vice chancellor, Umeå University

Peter Aronsson,
Vice Chairman
Pro-rector, Linnaeus University

Åke Bengtsson
Director, The Competent Authority for the Bothnian Sea River Basin District

Per Larsson
Prof. School of Natural Sciences,
Linnaeus University

Markus Meier
Oceanographer,
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute

Mats Tysklind
Prof. Dept of Chemistry,
Umeå University

Reference group

Annica Gammeltoft
Norrbotten County Administrative Board

Johnny Berglund
Västerbotten County Administrative Board

Izabela Alias
Kalmar County Administrative Board

Irene Bohman
Swedish River Basin District Authorities

Sonja Råberg
Stockholm County Administrative Board

Hans-Göran Lax
West Finland Environmental Centre

Elisabeth Sahlsten
Swedish agency for marine and water management

Theme Leaders

Theme 1Catherine Legrand
School of Natural Sciences
Linnaeus University

Theme 2Pär Byström
Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Umeå University

Theme 3Mats Tysklind
Dept. of Chemistry
Umeå University

Theme 4Johan Wikner
Umeå Marine Sciences Centre
Umeå University

Theme 5Agneta Andersson
Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Umeå University


New study on Methylmercury

From the mesocosm facility at Umeå Marine Sciences Centre, where Erik Björn's research group has performed studies on Methylmercury.