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Biodiversity changes – causes, consequences and management implications (BIO-C3)


BIO-C3 investigated the dynamics of biodiversity in the Baltic Sea, their causes and the consequences for the function of food webs, including implications for biodiversity management policies.

Baltic biodiversity is historically dynamic responding to various drivers operating at different time and space scales. Species diversity is generally low and contains many recent immigrants and glacial relict species because of low salinity and relatively young age. Nevertheless, these recent immigrants sustain many goods and services valued by society.

The project focused on functional consequences of ongoing and projected distributional and compositional changes of benthic and pelagic communities with a focus on invasive and resident key species. Using spatial and temporal projections of abiotic/biotic drivers including their interaction (climate change, eutrophication, species invasions, fisheries), the project provides an assessment of how biodiversity (e. g., of species, traits, habitats) responds in time, space and along gradients of human impact and hydrography. The potential and genetic basis for colonisation, acclimation and adaptation of species and populations to the Baltic Sea was investigated as well as how compositional and adaptive changes of Baltic biodiversity affect ecosystem functions with an emphasis on trophic linkage and food web dynamics.

A detailed report on specific results is available on the project website. These results feed into impact assessments that guide management policies including improved operationalization of status indicators, and guidelines for MPAs.

Project information


Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, GEOMAR, Germany National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark


University of Hamburg, Germany

Stockholm University, Sweden

National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland

Estonian Marine Institute, Estonia

Finnish Environmental Institute, Finland

Klaipeda University – Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Lithuania

DHI, Denmark

Gothenburg University, Sweden

Source of funding

BIO-C3 has received funding from BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme, funded jointly from the European Union's Seventh Programme (FP/2007-2013) and from Baltic Sea national funding bodies

Reference information


Published in Climate-ADAPT Mar 23 2018   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Feb 24 2021

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