experiments at sea

Project: Baltic Sea picophytoplankton mortality and growth

Picophytoplankton are small but significant primary producers. This project investigates factors that control picophytoplankton abundances in the Baltic Sea.

Project information

Project manager
Hanna Farnelid
Other project members
Javier Alegria, Elin Lindehoff, Christien Laber, Catherine Legrand
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
The Formas research council, Crafoord Foundation
1 Aug 2020 -
Ecology (Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)
Research group
Marine Phytoplankton Ecology and Applications (MPEA)
Knowledge environment
Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: Water

More about the project

Picophytoplankton are small primary producers composed of cyanobacteria and photosynthetic picoeukaryotes with a diameter of <2 µm. Despite of their small size they are highly abundant in aquatic ecosystems and form the base of the marine food web.

The aim of this project is to investigate mortality (grazing and viral lysis) of Baltic Sea picophytoplankton. This will be done using dilution gradients of bacteria free and virus free seawater. In complementary experiments, growth in response to different nitrogen sources at single cell level will be studied. The project will provide high resolution information on the in situ selective mortality and growth of Baltic Sea picophytoplankton. Knowledge of the factors that control picophytoplankton growth and mortality is of high importance for understanding their role in marine ecosystems and predict consequences of changing environmental conditions.

The project is connected to Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS). It is part of the research in the Marine phytoplankton ecology and applications (MPEA) research group and belongs to the Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: Water.