Windmills in the sea

Linnaeus Microbial Observatory (LMO)

The Linnaeus Microbial Observatory (LMO) is a time-series 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 270 time points, 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 (P.I. Jarone Pinhassi, LNU)
  • Phytoplankton (P.I. Catherine Legrand, LNU)
  • Viruses (P.I. Karin Holmfeldt, LNU)
  • Zooplankton (P.I. Samuel Hylander, LNU)
  • Bioinformatics (collaboration with P.I. Anders F. Andersson, KTH Royal institute of technology, SciLifeLab)

International collaborations

Moreover, in the frame of our sampling at LMO we are happy to run international collaborations with a broad set of researchers, focusing on particular aspects of aquatic microbial ecology. These include for example:

  • Activity and diversity of particle attached and free-living marine bacteria, in collaboration with Dr. Sandra Martinez-Garcia, University of Vigo, Spain.
  • Phytoplankton-bacteria interactions and linkages using transcriptomics approaches, in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Foster, Stockholm University.

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.
  • Cell abundance data is also being attempted to be used by the Baltic. Nest Institute, which does ecosystem modeling and advising for HELCOM, and is a highly influential group that helps to establish regulations for Baltic Sea emissions.

We greatly acknowledge the support of EON, Northern Offshore Service (NOS) and the Kårehamn guest-harbor 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'

The LMO bouy
The buoy at LMO (OlandOst) is part of the Swedish Moored Coastal Realtime Buoy Net

See the latest observations at The Swedish Moored Coastal Realtime Buoy Net


More information