The second stage of the BONUS BLUEWEBS project is completed

Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR” in consortium with the main project coordinator Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and 7 partners from Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden implemented the second stage of the BONUS BLUEWEBS project (Blue growth boundaries in novel Baltic food webs).

The main tasks achieved in the second stage (01.04.2018.-31.03.2019.) of the project:

  • Additional data on long-term changes in Baltic Sea phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos abundance and biomass were prepared. Data were included and used in project work packages.
  • In cooperation with project partners from Finland (Åbo Akademi University), the analysis of the prepared datasets has continued to evaluate the structural and functional changes in the Gulf of Riga food web.
  • The construction of the ECOPATH/ECOSIM food web model has continued using the datasets on changes in the Gulf of Riga food web. The functional groups included representing the most important groups in the Gulf of Riga (phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos and fish functional groups). The three types of forcing were applied in our model: fishing effort, fishing mortalities and abiotic forcing. Fishing mortalities were directly imported as time-series of catches. Effort forcing time-series were constructed as the relative change (compared to 2004) in fishing hours at sea for each fleet segment (pelagic trawls, pots and gillnets). BALTSEM model output was used for environmental forcing (temperature, salinity, oxygen and primary production).
  • The preparation of cod otolith material has continued for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses.
  • BONUS BLUEWEBS project partner meetings took place in Tartu (April 16-20) and Hamburg (December 3-5). In meetings participants from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Latvia discussed questions related to project implementation, main activities and partner’s responsibilities.
  • Janis Gruduls, Ivars Putnis and Solvita Strake participated in the 77th Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia with the presentation: “Gulf of Riga food web simulation”.

The total costs of the project are 2,8 million EUR, the Institute’s BIOR share is EUR 148 430,40, where 50 % financed by the European Commission and 50 % by the Latvian state budget.

The project will be implemented in three stages from 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2020.


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