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MarBEF Summer School on Diversity and Functioning of Coastal Habitats

Location: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Event Type: Training Course
Event Date: 2007-07-17    
End Date: 2007-07-27

Start Time: 9:00    Ending Time: 19:00

Event Description:
Coastal areas are characterised by a high diversity of habitats and organisms. Considerable global change is occurring within the coastal zone due to human activity as also by natural forcing especially by climate change. In order to assess the effects of these changes we need a fundamental understanding of ecosystem structure and function. The topic of this advanced study course is a comparison of coastal ecosystems: soft bottom systems in the Baltic Sea versus sedimentary and hard bottom communities of North Sea and Atlantic coasts, with some perspectives to polar and tropical regions. This Summer School will bring together graduated students, PhD students and young scientists with experts in coastal research.

Aspects of the influence of global change on diversity and the functioning of coastal ecosystems will be addressed
a) historic changes in diversity of habitats and organisms
b) physical oceanography of Baltic Sea, North Sea and Bay of Biscay in relation to coastal diversity
c) changes in morphodynamics and environmental impacts
d) effects of global change on pelagic and benthic communities and food webs: physiological and ecological changes, changes in diversity, invasive species

An introduction to the analysis of food webs will be given.

The question will be discussed: How can the scientific community provide recommendations for an integrated coastal zone management and for a sustainable use of natural resources.

Deadline for application is 15 June 2007.

Contact email:

Event programme:
Please check our website: (final programme).

The summer school will consist of background lectures by scientists of different fields of coastal research, as well as field trips and practical courses.

Sessions and topics of lectures are:

1) Introduction and physical background of Climate Change
- Ecosystems of the coastal zone - global and regional aspects
- Impacts of Climate Change on coastal regions: changing wind climate
- Physical oceanography in Baltic and North Sea

2) Variability and changes in habitats
- Coastal geology: Changes in morphodynamics
- Changes in habitats in the Gulf of Gdansk/Puck Lagoon
- Benthic communities in the Mecklenburg Bight - a gradient system
- Ecological changes in the Wadden Sea

3) Anthropogenic impact on coastal ecosystems
- Physiological and ecological changes in bivalves as an effect of eutrophication
- Pollution and biological effects in the Mecklenburg Bight
- Ecological changes in the Sylt-Rømø Bight: Promotion of invasive species by climate warming

4) Food webs in soft bottom habitats
- Pelagic food web structure in the North Sea, Helgoland
- Food web of the Puck lagoon
- The Marennes-Oléron Bay food web model
- Benthic-pelagic food web of the Sylt-Rømø Bight
- Marbef - Foodwebio: A responsive mode project on food web analysis

5) Health of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
- Marine protected areas: What is a natural or pristine ecosystem? Would nature be better off without humans?
- Water framework directive

6) Global coastal changes and coastal zone management
- Global diversity patterns
- Presentation by the LOICZ office
- Integrated coastal zone management
- Perspectives of european marine biodiversity research

- Boat trip with research catamaran "MYA": methods, instruments, fishing, dredging for the study of subtidal habitats of the North Sea
- Excursion to tidal flats to study intertidal habitats of the Wadden Sea
- After the excursions, samples will be identified and analysed.

Students presentations: The participants are invited to give a presentation of their own research, either master or doctoral thesis.

Collaborators and organisers:
- AWI, Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung: Dr. Markus Molis, Dr. Ragnhild Asmus
- IOUG, Institute for Oceanography, University of Gdansk, Poland: Prof. Dr. Maciej Wolowicz, Dr. Adam Sokolowski
- IOW, Baltic Sea Research Institute, Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany: Dr. Doris Schiedek
- EUCC, The Coastal Union Germany: Dr. Gerald Schernewski
- GKSS Research Centre, Geesthacht, Germany: Dr. Götz Flöser
- IFREMER: Prof. Dr. Cédric Bacher

For further questions please contact:
Ms Christiane Antrick
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Wattenmeerstation Sylt
Hafenstraße 43
25992 List / Sylt

Dr. Ragnhild Asmus
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Wattenmeerstation Sylt
Hafenstraße 43
25992 List / Sylt

Website url:

Registration form:

Registration fee: 100 €

Relevant costs that should be taken by MARBEF:  

Possibility for day-care centres (facilities for children): No

MarBEF supported event: Yes

Event within Framework of MARBEF: WP7 - Training courses

Maximum number of participants: 17

External participants (non MARBEF) allowed: Yes

Posted by AsmusRagnhild on 2007-02-20 and approved by webmaster