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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Modelling Phaeocystis blooms,their causes and consequences

Objective

The objective is to strengthen the coupled hydrological ecological MIRO model for explaining the causes and predicting the environmental and socioeconomic consequences of spring phytoplankton blooms in coastal marine areas.

The project constitutes an enlargement and extension of the joint European Commission project, dynamics of phaeocystis blooms in nutrient - enriched coastal zones (Contract EV4V-0102-B). It aims to establish a predictive mathematical model of the behaviour of phytoplankton during spring blooms occurring along the continental coastal zone of the North Sea. This model will allow calculation of the impacts of variations of nutrient discharges by north west European rivers into the coastal marine waters. The project includes an assessment of impacts of algal blooms in the southern North Sea on the adjacent northern North Sea regions as well as a feasibility study to evaluate quantitatively the socioeconomic impacts of phytoplankton blooms.

The following approaches will be applied :
annual synchronized field surveys of spring phytoplankton blooms along the continental coastal zones of northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark;
statistical analysis of historical data sets of nutrient inputs from north west European rivers and development of idealized models of nutrient retention within river systems and estuaries;
experimental process studies to determine the key factors that control free living Phaeocystis cells and colony size distribution, to investigate the basic maintenance and storage capacity of diatoms and Phaeocystis, to determine the autolysis of phytoplankton and to quantify zooplankton grazing on Phaeocystis colonies and aggregates of various sizes;
study of the role of summer stratification of the water column (in Danish coastal waters) in the onset of Phaeocystis blooms and on sedimentation of dead phytoplankton matter;
and testing of various management (pollution reduction) scenarios with the coupled ecological hydrological MIRO model.

Topic(s)

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Call for proposal

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITE LIBRE DE BRUXELLES
EU contribution
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Address
221,Boulevard du Triomphe 221
1050 BRUXELLES
Belgium

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Participants (7)