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Doctoral project: Evolutionary ecology of the Baltic Sea

The aim of this project is to investigate the effect that the temperature and hence climate change have on different organisms. For that, biofilm and copepods are used as model organisms.

Project information

Doctoral student
Ida Krogsgaard Svendsen
Anders Forsman
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
March 2021 – February 2025
Ecology (Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)

More about the project

In the project we use large scale, and long-term experiments to address the following two main questions:

How do Baltic Sea communities alter and/or adapt after 50 years of warming? Rates of biological and chemical processes depend on temperature and all organisms have an optimum at which they best perform. Increased temperature may result in species adaptation (e.g. changes in thermal physiology), phenology changes, local extinctions, colonization by new species, and range shifts that all ultimately change the community composition. However, it remains largely unclear what type of responses will prevail in different systems, in different organisms, and under different rates and magnitudes of climate change.

To what extent are the changes/adaptations due to climate change reversible if original conditions are restored? A tipping point occurs when the resilience of a system is exhausted such that the changes in the community composition and function do not return to their original state when the conditions return to the original. Understanding regime shifts or tipping points is important to predict whether and how fast decreases in greenhouse gas emissions will result in restoration of coastal systems to the pristine conditions.

To answer the two questions, the model organisms copepods and biofilm are used. The project consists of four separate studies, three with biofilm and one with copepods.

This project is part of: