Produktivität der Küsten
Phytoplankton plays a central role in the sea as a primary producer. It is the basis of the food chain. It releases oxygen and thereby regulates the oxygen dynamics between the ocean and atmosphere. Furthermore, it contributes considerably to keeping coastal waters and seas healthy and productive. Nevertheless, these primary producers are sensitive to anthropogenic stressors, such as excessive nutrient and pollutant input, climate changes, changes in water chemistry and ocean acidification. In the “Coastal Productivity” department, we study, among other aspects, how the primary producers influence the carbon and nutrient cycles as well as the food chains. Furthermore, we are interested in how heavily the primary producers are impacted by anthropogenic stress factors or coastal dynamics (for example, by tides and storms). To discover more about the ecosystem dynamics, we use autonomous in situ measurement methods. We examine periods of time ranging from a few days to decades and bridge the gap between individual measurement cruises by ship to the coastal seas and oceans in general.