Baltic Sea sediments

Project: Changes in microbial population and their functions as a response to environmental changes in Baltic Sea sediments

The project will investigate Baltic Sea sediments in terms of both 'dead zones' as well as development induced by climate change.

Facts about the project

Project manager
Professor Mark Dopson
Other project members
Samuel Hylander, Anders Forsman, Linnaeus University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
Linnaeus University (Ecology and evolution in microbial model systems, EEMiS)
2017-04-01 to 2021-12-31
Microbiology, Biology & Environmental Sciences (Department of Biology of Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)

More about the project

The effect of environmental changes on the microbes present and their functions in Baltic Sea sediments and the overlying bottom waters will be studied in detail as a time series. Changes to the environmental conditions will be induced, e.g. increased levels and depletion of oxygen, and the effect of sinking algal blooms reaching the sediment surface. How differing oxygen concentrations affect the zooplankton cysts in the sediments will also be studied as an added value. Systems biology data will then be linked to chemical fluxes between the sediment surface and the bottom waters. This dataset will yield comprehensive knowledge of the gene expression changes and population dynamics in the Baltic Sea sediments, due to environmental changes induced by anthropogenic activities, i.e. eutrophication and global warming.

The main aims of this project are:
  • Investigate how the microbial population and their functions are affected by environmental changes in the Baltic Sea sediments.
  • Identify microbial population dynamics and their gene expression dynamics.
  • Ascertain changes to chemical fluxes due to environmental changes.
  • Evaluate current and possible future scenarios of environmental changes in the Baltic Sea sediments.

The project is part of the research of the research group Systems Biology of Microorganisms and of Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS).