Windmills in the sea

Linnaeus Microbial Observatory (LMO)

The Linnaeus Microbial Observatory (LMO) is a time-series station in the Baltic Sea Proper and the core of many research projects in microbial oceanography at Linnaeus University. Since 2011, we have collected samples at over 360 time points (until Jan 2023), and currently samples are collected biweekly.

About LMO

For years, the Baltic Sea has been affected by eutrophication and overfishing. Now, climate change threatens to accentuate these human-induced effects leading to ecosystem changes of hitherto unprecedented magnitudes. To interpret and predict the responses of the Baltic Sea to climate change, the Swedish governmental strong research programme "EcoChange" investigates basin-specific food-web responses to environmental forcing (from bacteria to fish).

Our work includes investigating a series of interactions, from microbes to higher organisms, using a suite of state-of-the-art microbial ecology and molecular biology approaches.

Our sampling at LMO started in 2011. Here, several of our research groups at the Linnaeus University study the ecology and seasonal dynamics of for example viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Approximately every second week, a sampling team drives to the station, collects water samples that are transported to the laboratory in Kalmar where up to ten people use this water for different analysis in the laboratory. These include members of different research groups:

  • Bacteria (Jarone Pinhassi)
  • Phytoplankton (Elin Lindehoff, Catherine Legrand)
  • Picophytoplankton (Hanna Farnelid)
  • Viruses (Karin Holmfeldt)
  • Zooplankton (Samuel Hylander)

International collaborations


In the frame of our sampling at LMO we are happy to run international collaborations with researchers focusing on different aspects of aquatic microbial ecology. Ongoing collaborations involve for example:

  • Activity and diversity of particle attached and free-living marine bacteria, in collaboration with Dr. Sandra Martinez-Garcia, University of Vigo, Spain.
  • Temporal analysis of phage-bacteria interactions with Dr Anders F. Andersson, KTH Royal institute of technology, SciLifeLab.
  • Bacterioplankton community dynamics and links to DOM turnover, in collaboration with Dr. Carina Bunse, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

How the samples are used

The LMO samples are used as the basis for an enormous depth of research material. We use them to study:

  • Abundances of bacterial, phytoplankton and zooplankton groups and taxonomic identifications.
  • DNA and metagenomic samples for viruses, phytoplankton and bacteria.
  • Gene and protein expression data from phytoplankton and bacterioplankton communities.

We greatly acknowledge the support of RWE in the Nordics, the RWE Kårehamn Offshore Windfarm, and the MS/S Provider crew during our sampling efforts.

Where is LMO?

The sampling station LMO is situated 11 km offshore Kårehamn, in the Baltic Sea. Coordinates: LMO, N 56° 55.8540', E 17° 3.6420'

LMO Buoy


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