Humans and Marine Ecosystems

The current and future state of marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles is subject to the increasing influence of human activities and human interventions. Prediction, risk assessment and the development of precautionary measures require a comprehensive understanding of the sensitivity of marine species, the ecosystems formed by them and the biogeochemical cycles.

In particular, the following factors need to be taken into account: climate-induced ocean acidification, oxygen depletion, changes in the near-surface mixing of the oceans, excessive nutrient supply (eutrophication), invasive species, spreading of pathogens and parasites, regional and global biodiversity losses and the increasing exploitation of biological resources. Through the application and further development of genetic and genomic methods, the evolutionary-biological reactions of species to anthropogenic disturbances are of increasing interest.

Further scientific information can be found on the pages of the Research Division 2: Marine Biogeochemisty and Research Division 3: Marine Ecology.

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