Successful winter expedition provides MGF Baltic Sea researchers with interesting insights into the seasonal dynamics of bottom-dwelling organisms and biogeochemistry


As part of the monitoring program of the Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde, which fulfills the German contribution to the monitoring of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea under the Helsinki Convention (HELCOM), Michael Naumann was now on the first monitoring cruise with research vessel Elisabeth Mann Borgese and in addition to his monitoring program, he also brought sediment samples from the marine nature reserve Fehmarnbelt for his colleagues from the MGF Baltic Sea project.  Using these samples, our MGF Baltic Sea researchers are now studying the biogeochemistry, microorganisms (protists, bacteria) and macrofauna of the sediment in the nature reserve. Since the monitoring taking place multiple times a year, it gives the opportunity to collect samples at different seasons of the year.

The research vessel Elisabeth Mann Borgese sailing in the Baltic Sea. © M. Naumann
For the scientists in the MGF Baltic Sea project, who take samples once a year during a major expedition in the summer, additional samples at different times of the year are extremely valuable. For example, natural fluctuations in biodiversity or the composition of organism communities can be detected during the year. Such samples provide important additional information for the interpretation of whether mobile bottom-contact fishing in nature reserves has the same effect as outside the protected areas. This way it can be verified whether other factors, which may change during the year, play a role in the results. But now it is time to evaluate the samples.


Many thanks to Michael Naumann and the monitoring team!

UPDATE: The second monitoring cruise has started on 19.03.2021. We are looking forward to new samples.
Moonshine-Sampling: Michael beim Beproben der Fehmarnbelt-Sedimentkerne in der Nacht.
Moonshine sampling: Michael processing the Fehmarnbelt sediment cores at night. © M. Naumann