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Vibrios and climate change: Can nature-based methods mitigate the potential threat in the Baltic Sea?

Seagrass beds are valuable habitats with high biodiversity and perform many important ecosystem functions.
Can certain habitats such as seagrass beds reduce the vibrio load near the coast and can this effect be assisted by shaping the marine environment? This question is being explored in the BaltVib project. (Photo: IOW / S. Kube)

Vibrio bacteria, including species that are harmful to humans, are a natural component of Baltic Sea plankton. As a consequence of climate change, they may become more common due to rising water temperatures and thus an increasing health risk. The BaltVib project, coordinated by the IOW, is investigating whether certain plant and animal communities such as seagrass and mussel beds naturally reduce near shore Vibrio abundance and how this effect can be supported through actively shaping the marine environment. The research network with partners from seven Baltic Sea states will start work with a virtual kick-off meeting on May 19.

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