EuOpstart - Limsity: Oxgenating the Limfjord to make its biodiversity great again: from a degrading system to breathing one

Project: Research

Project Details


he overarching goal of Limsity is to study the impact of ventilation in oxygendepleted coastal areas on carbon sequestration, emission of greenhouse gases, biodiversity and nutrient cycling as a novel mean to counteract global warming. The ocean absorbs about 30% of the carbon dioxid released by human activities and contains 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere. Thus, to promote the transition to a green economy will be neither swift nor smooth without considering the role of aquatic systems.
Amongst the major threats for the future ocean are eutrophication (excess nutrition and mineral) of coastal systems and progressive deoxygenation of large ocean areas which are often already characterized by decreased O2 concentrations. Those so-called Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZ) are present mostly in connection with high productive areas and are hotspots for greenhouse gas production. Global warming enhances oxygen depletion and spreading of OMZ to larger depths and larger geographical areas through several mechanism.
Limfjorden is a prime example of the detrimental effect of the expansion of OMZ. The enclosed structure is limiting the inflow of oxygenated and salty water from the North and Baltic sea. The aim of Limsity is to characterize the change in carbon binding, greenhouse gas emission, biodiversity and nutrient cycling in OMZ upon ventilation of these zones using a series of mesocosm studies where responses of plankton community to oxygenation will be assessed. The assisted ventilation of the OMZs will revert the detrimental effects of oxygen depletion on diversity and abundance of aerobic life including zooplankton, fish, and other higher animals. Other attempts to mitigate OMZ have so proven ineffective . Limsity is the first research endeavor to both understand and attenuate OMZs, an environmental disaster expanding with the progress of global warming.
Effective start/end date03/11/202007/12/2020