Marine Ecosystem Modeling
Why do cyanobacteria dominate the Baltic Sea phytoplankton community during summer?
Why is the water warming during a cyanobacteria bloom?
Why did cyanobacteria blooms become more widespread and intense during the past decades?
All these and more questions can be answered by using specific computer models. Marine ecosystem models calculate the temporal development and distribution patterns of the most important ecosystem variables. They help to better understand observed patterns in nature.
In our group “marine ecosystem modelling” we focus on the development of marine ecosystem models, including biogeochemical models. We use them for idealized process studies but also apply them in realistic settings. In general, we are interested in the effects of environmental changes on phytoplankton and the impact of phytoplankton on physical environment and climate. Specific research questions deal with (1) the role of life cycle on the (biologically-driven) variability of phytoplankton, (2) the consequences of environmental, specifically climate changes on key organisms, plankton community, ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles, and (3) the role of marine biological-physical feedback mechanisms in the climate system.
We develop our ecosystem models within the framework of box models and water column models. In cooperation with other modeling working groups, we implement them then in regional ocean circulation models, particularly for the Baltic Sea, and in global Earth system models.