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Scale-dependent effects of nutrient loads and climatic conditions on benthic and pelagic communities in the Gulf of Finland
Põllumäe, A.; Kotta, J.; Leisk, U. (2009). Scale-dependent effects of nutrient loads and climatic conditions on benthic and pelagic communities in the Gulf of Finland, in: Proceedings of the 43rd European Marine Biology Symposium, The Azores Islands (Portugal), 8-12 September 2008. Marine Ecology (Berlin), 30(S1): pp. 20-32. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0485.2009.00304.x
In: (2009). Proceedings of the 43rd European Marine Biology Symposium, The Azores Islands (Portugal), 8-12 September 2008. Marine Ecology (Berlin), 30(S1). Wiley: London. 202 pp., more
In: Marine Ecology (Berlin). Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0173-9565, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Baltic Sea; benthic invertebrates; climate change; mesozooplankton; nutrient load; spatial scale

Authors  Top 
  • Põllumäe, A.
  • Kotta, J., more
  • Leisk, U.

Abstract
    Eutrophication and climate change are ranked among the most serious threats to the stability of marine ecosystems worldwide. The effects of nutrient loads and climatic conditions vary in direction, magnitude and spatial extent. To date the factors that are behind the scale-specific spatial and temporal variability are poorly known. In this study we assessed how variability in nutrient loads and climatic conditions at local, gulf and regional scales explained the spatial patterns and temporal trends of zooplankton and benthic invertebrates in the Gulf of Finland. In general both local and gulf scale environmental variability had an important effect on benthic invertebrate species and the variability was mainly due to local nutrient loading, gulf scale temperature and salinity patterns. Zooplankton species were equally affected by environmental variability at all spatial scales, and all nutrient load and climatic condition variables contributed to the models. The combination of variables at all spatial scales did not explain the substantially larger proportion in invertebrate variability than variables at any individual scale. This suggests that large-scale pressures such as nutrient loads and change of climatic conditions may define broad patterns of distribution but within these patterns small-scale environmental variability significantly modifies the response of communities to these large-scale pressures.

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