ICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Theme Session Q

From genes to ecosystems: spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of the Baltic Sea
(Co-sponsored by BONUS)

Karin Hüssy (Denmark)
Jan Dierking (Germany)
Linda Laikre (Sweden)

​​​​​Contact conveners​

​The BONUS programme brings together researchers from marine, maritime, coastal, terrestrial, economic, and societal disciplines to address the major challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region. The main aim is to generate and disseminate scientific knowledge that will help to restore and maintain good environmental status of the Baltic Sea and use its goods and services sustainably in the coming decade and beyond. In this context, enhanced understanding of the complex processes occurring in the Baltic Sea ecosystems, causes and consequences of its biological diversity, dynamics of food webs, and impact of various human-induced pressures is of critical importance. 

Improved predictive capacity through advanced modelling is needed to determine the controls and limits of the Baltic Sea ecosystems' dynamics and resilience, and to suggest the most efficient societal responses. Policy initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission's Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM BSAP), the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) follow the concept of adaptive ecosystem-based management of living resources affected human activities. They depend critically on robust assessments of the environmental status, which in turn must be based on solid scientific knowledge about marine biodiversity, and ecosystem structure and functioning.

This theme session will consider new knowledge obtained on:

  1. Biodiversity at all levels (e.g. genetic, species, community, habitat, and functional), and its links to ecosystem features such as stability and functioning
  2. The spatial and temporal dynamics of genetic population structure, species, and communities

Although the Baltic Sea is the focal region, we invite contributions from other areas and comparisons between systems, in order to generate a comprehensive overview on existing regulations, knowledge, and methodology primarily on the following subject areas:

  • patterns of biodiversity at different levels of organization
  • habitat requirements at different life‐stages of commercially and ecologically important species and populations
  • coupling between biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and ecosystem services
  • evaluation frameworks for assessing and testing indicators for biodiversity (also in a socio-economic context)


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Photo: ​Jacob Schjørring & Simon Lau​ - Wonderful Copenhagen.

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Theme Session Q

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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