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.

News for research topic "Humans and Marine Ecosystems"

An alga of the genus Micromonas, for which the first transformation protocols are presented. Since Micromonas photosynthesizes with the chloroplast (shown here in green) and is very abundant in the ocean, it plays a role in the global carbon cycle. Photo: Tom Deerinck, Mark Ellisman, Alexandra Worden

Tiny marine organisms as the key to global cycles

New ways to understand the functioning of marine phytoplankton

Using special nets, the team of expedition AL534/2 investigates the microplastic distribution off the coast of Western Europe. Photo: Expedition team AL534/2

Where is the plastic in the ocean?

GEOMAR coordinates new JPI-Oceans project on the distribution of plastic waste in the ocean

[Translate to English:] Gesunder Blasentang. Foto: Uli Kunz.

Acceleration and brake processes to adapt to global change

Bladderwrack shows coupled reactions to environmental changes

[Translate to English:] Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler nehmen Wasserproben, um sie auf einzellige Räuber hin zu untersuchen. Foto: Marie Cuvelier

Viruses as Modulators of Interactions in Marine Ecosystems

GEOMAR scientists show a new picture of the role of viruses in the ocean

The three-dimensional representation of the sponge tissue illustrates the close contact of sponge cells (red) with the bacteria (turquoise) living in the sponge.. Photo: Martin T. Jahn/GEOMAR

Symbiosis as a tripartite relationship

Investigation of viral communities of sponges allows new insights into the mechanisms of symbiosis

[Translate to English:] Rotalgen der Art Agarophyton vermyculophyllum. Photo: Mahasweta Saha/PML

Seaweeds can attract friends and keep away enemies

Scientists from Kiel and Plymouth show for the first time health-promoting microbial manipulation in aquatic plants

[Translate to English:] Ein gestreifter Hamletbarsch (Hypoplectrus puella) vor der Küste Panamas. Foto: Kosmas Hench/GEOMAR

How new species arise in the sea

Study sheds new light on a fundamental question in evolutionary biology

Commercial trawling (left) and catches of elasmobranch (right) outside and inside of protected areas. Graphics: M. Dureuil, Dalhousie Univ.

Marine Protected Areas not safe

Bottom trawling endangers many species

A diver next to a mesocosm off the coast of Gran Canaria. Photo: Michael Sswat/GEOMAR (CC BY 4.0)

Ocean acidification stimulates mass development of toxic algae

Long-term experiment reveals disruption of the pelagic food web under high CO2 conditions

A specimen of Blackfordia virginica. Photo: Cornelia Jaspers/GEOMAR, DTU Aqua (CC BY 4.0)

New jellyfish species in the Kiel Canal

Further spread of Blackfordia virginica into the Baltic Sea is likely