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About EcoChange

EcoChange is a part of the government's strategic research initiative on marine environmental research. The research programme is a collaboration between Umeå University, Linnaeus University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and is hosted by Umeå University.

EcoChange is led by a programme board, a scientific coordinator and a steering group. The board and scientific coordinator is appointed by the Umeå University board. EcoChange is administered through Umeå University and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.

What EcoChange is all about

EcoChange will increase the knowledge concerning the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. Within EcoChange research results are translated into advice for authorities for management of the sea areas.


The starting point is that climate change effects temperature, salinity and concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients in the Baltic Sea. This leads to a decrease in food efficiency, and thereby an increase in accumulation of contaminants in marine organisms.


Food web efficiency is a key concept within EcoChange, and is also an indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The food web efficiency can be altered by changes in for example species diversity, productivity, food web dynamics, population structure, amount of steps in the food web, evolutionary processes and contaminants in the ecosystem.


The Baltic Sea consists of several basins, which have fundamental differences in hydrological conditions and food web structure. Specific studies in the different basins are important for projections of future conditions. The gradients in salinity, temperature and other variables are an important part of the EcoChange studies. Umeå University and Linnaeus University collaborate in field work as well as laboratory experiments and modelling.

A governmental initative

EcoChange is a part of the government's strategic research initiative on marine environmental research. The research programme is a collaboration between Umeå University, Linnaeus University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and is hosted by Umeå University.
EcoChange is led by a programme board, a scientific coordinator and a steering group. The board and scientific coordinator is appointed by the Umeå University board. EcoChange is administered through Umeå University and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.

Funding

EcoChange was originally funded for 2010–2014. The funding was prolonged during 2015-2016 while awaiting further government decisions. At the end of the year 2016 the government decided to prolong the programme until 2020. Around sixty scientists work within the EcoChange programme.

Evaluation

The programme was evaluated by the government via Formas in 2014. The expert panel praised the strategic programme, and pointed out the management, the international collaboration and the close contact with stakeholders as important success factors.

Board

Marianne Sommarin, Chairman
Senior advisor, Umeå University

Ann-Charlotte Larsson, vice chairman
Vice rector, Linnaeus University

Åke Bengtsson, board member
Senior advisor, Västernorrland County Administrativ Board

Per Larsson, board member
Professor, School of Natural Sciences, Linnaeus University

Helén Andersson, board member
Oceanographer, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute

Mats Tysklind, board member
Professor,  Department of Chemistry, Umeå University

Reference group

Johnny Berglund, Västerbotten County Administrative Board

Izabela Alias, Kalmar County Administrative Board

Irene Bohman, Swedish River Basin District Authorities

Sonja Råberg, Stockholm County Administrative Board

Hans-Göran Lax, West Finland Environmental Centre

Elisabeth Sahlsten, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

Collaboration partners

Umeå University (host university)

Linnaeus University

Swedish University of Agricultural Science

Swedish Museum of Natural History