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Bremerhaven, Germany

The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research is located in Bremerhaven, Germany, and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. It conducts research in the Arctic, in the Antarctic and in the high and mid latitude oceans. Additional research topics are: North Sea research, marine biological monitoring and technical marine developments. The institute was founded in 1980 and is named after meteorologist, climatologist and geologist Alfred Wegener. Wikipedia.


Smetacek V.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Zingone A.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Nature | Year: 2013

Sudden beaching of huge seaweed masses smother the coastline and form rotting piles on the shore. The number of reports of these events in previously unaffected areas has increased worldwide in recent years. These 'seaweed tides' can harm tourism-based economies, smother aquaculture operations or disrupt traditional artisanal fisheries. Coastal eutrophication is the obvious, ultimate explanation for the increase in seaweed biomass, but the proximate processes that are responsible for individual beaching events are complex and require dedicated study to develop effective mitigation strategies. Harvesting the macroalgae, a valuable raw material, before they beach could well be developed into an effective solution. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-15-2015 | Award Amount: 50.73M | Year: 2016

In the last decade a significant number of projects and programmes in different domains of environmental monitoring and Earth observation have generated a substantial amount of data and knowledge on different aspects related to environmental quality and sustainability. Big data generated by in-situ or satellite platforms are being collected and archived with a plethora of systems and instruments making difficult the sharing of data and knowledge to stakeholders and policy makers for supporting key economic and societal sectors. The overarching goal of ERA-PLANET is to strengthen the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation in coherence with the European participation to Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and the Copernicus. The expected impact is to strengthen the European leadership within the forthcoming GEO 2015-2025 Work Plan. ERA-PLANET will reinforce the interface with user communities, whose needs the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intends to address. It will provide more accurate, comprehensive and authoritative information to policy and decision-makers in key societal benefit areas, such as Smart cities and Resilient societies; Resource efficiency and Environmental management; Global changes and Environmental treaties; Polar areas and Natural resources. ERA-PLANET will provide advanced decision support tools and technologies aimed to better monitor our global environment and share the information and knowledge in different domain of Earth Observation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-02-2015 | Award Amount: 76.24M | Year: 2016

Within the European Research Area (ERA), the ERA4CS Consortium is aiming to boost, research for Climate Services (CS), including climate adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk management, allowing regions, cities and key economic sectors to develop opportunities and strengthen Europes leadership. CS are seen by this consortium as driven by user demands to provide knowledge to face impacts of climate variability and change, as well as guidance both to researchers and decisionmakers in policy and business. ERA4CS will focus on the development of a climate information translation layer bridging user communities and climate system sciences. It implies the development of tools, methods, standards and quality control for reliable, qualified and tailored information required by the various field actors for smart decisions. ERA4CS will boost the JPI Climate initiative by mobilizing more countries, within EU Member States and Associated Countries, by involving both the research performing organizations (RPOs) and the research funding organizations (RFOs), the distinct national climate services and the various disciplines of academia, including Social Sciences and Humanities. ERA4CS will launch a joint transnational co-funded call, with over 16 countries and up to 75M, with two complementary topics: (i) a cash topic, supported by 12 RFOs, on co-development for user needs and action-oriented projects; (ii) an in-kind topic, supported by 28 RPOs, on institutional integration of the research components of national CS. Finally, ERA4CS additional activities will initiate a strong partnership between JPI Climate and others key European and international initiatives (as Copernicus, KIC-Climate, JPIs, WMO/GFCS, Future Earth, Belmont Forum) in order to work towards a common vision and a multiyear implementation strategy, including better co-alignment of national programs and activities up to 2020 and beyond.


Gimenez L.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Ecology | Year: 2010

Environmental effects on sets of traits of organisms can have important consequences on populations. In marine species with complex life cycles, plastic responses in larval traits can affect size at metamorphosis and juvenile growth. These traits can ultimately affect survival and recruitment. Here, I evaluate links between pelagic conditions, natural variations in larval physiological traits (duration of development, size of the megalopa stage), size at metamorphosis, and juvenile growth in the shore crab Carcinus maenas. I sampled settling larvae (megalopae) of C. maenas, daily, during the settlement season of three consecutive years, in the island of Helgoland (North Sea, German Bight). Megalopae were brought to the laboratory where postmetamorphic growth was evaluated under different larval food environments. Traits varied considerably at several temporal scales; variation was not consistent among years. However, the size at metamorphosis was always larger at the start of the settlement season. Some variability correlated with predicted changes in transport processes and dynamics of plume fronts around the study area. Positive relationships between predicted periods of formation of plume fronts, settlement rates, and size at metamorphosis suggest a link between oceanographic conditions and individual traits. Size at metamorphosis explained juvenile growth rates: during the first five juvenile stages, larger individuals grew faster and reached larger size at stage (that is, at any stage observed). Megalopae experiencing ad libitum food conditions grew faster as juveniles than those deprived of food, showing that size at metamorphosis and juvenile growth respond plastically to variations in the larval food environment. I conclude that juvenile growth rate in C. maenas can be affected by natural environmental conditions experienced by larval stages; this effect is mediated by changes in the size at metamorphosis. Most likely the most important factor operating on the size at metamorphosis was food (availability/quality). Since juveniles of this species attain a refuge in size from cannibals, changes in size at metamorphosis could codetermine the chances of postsettlement survival. Further consideration of physiological traits and their consequences at the level of populations should lead to a better understanding of how pre-and postmetamorphic processes interact and explain variability in recruitment in species with complex life cycles. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America. Source


Portner H.-O.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Climate change effects on marine ecosystems involve various stressors, pre dominantly temperature, hypoxia and CO2, all of which may combine with further anthropogenic stressors such as pollutants. All life forms respond to these drivers, following potentially common principles, which are insufficiently understood. Specific understanding may be most advanced in animals where the concept of 'oxygen and capacity dependent thermal tolerance' (OCLTT) is an integrator of various effects, linking molecular to ecosystem levels of biological organisation. Recent studies confirm OCLTT involvement in the field, causing changes in species abundance, biogeographical ranges, phenology and species predominance. At the whole-animal level, performance capacity set by aerobic scope and energy budget, building on baseline energy turnover, links fitness (within a thermal window) and functioning at the ecosystem level. In variable environments like the intertidal zone, animals also exploit their capacity for passive tolerance. While presently the temperature signal appears predominant in the field, effects may well involve other stressors, acting synergistically by narrowing the aerobic OCLTT window. Recent findings support the OCLTT concept as a common physiological basis linking apparently disjunct effects of ocean warming, acidification and hypoxia in a so-called climate syndrome. In brief, warming-induced CO2 accumulation in body fluids links to the effects of ocean acidification mediated by the weak acid distribution of CO2. Temperature-induced hypoxemia links to the hypoxia sensitivity of thermal tolerance. Future work will need to develop proxies for the temperature-dependent effects of climate-related stressors and also identify the principles operative in organisms other than animals and their underlying mechanisms. Mechanism-based modelling efforts are then needed to develop reliable organism to ecosystem projections of future change. © Inter-Research 2012. Source

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