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This is the first comprehensive science-based textbook on the biology and ecology of the Baltic Sea, one of the world's largest brackish water bodies. The aim of Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea is to provide students and other readers with knowledge about the conditions for life in brackish water, the functioning of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and its environmental problems and management. It highlights biological variation along the unique environmental gradients of the brackish Baltic Sea Area (the Baltic Sea, Belt Sea and Kattegat), especially those in salinity and climate.
The first part of Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea presents the challenges for life processes and ecosystem dynamics that result from the Baltic Sea's highly variable recent geological history and geographical isolation. The second part explains interactions between organisms and their environment, including biogeochemical cycles, patterns of biodiversity, genetic diversity and evolution, biological invasions and physiological adaptations. In the third part, the subsystems of the Baltic Sea ecosystem – the pelagic zone, the sea ice, the deep soft sea beds, the phytobenthic zone, the sandy coasts, and estuaries and coastal lagoons – are treated in detail with respect to the structure and function of communities and habitats and consequences of natural and anthropogenic constraints, such as climate change, discharges of nutrients and hazardous substances. Finally, the fourth part of Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea discusses monitoring and ecosystem-based management to deal with contemporary and emerging threats to the ecosystem's health.
PART I: The Baltic Sea environment
Chapter 1: Brackish water as an environment
Chapter 2: Why is the Baltic Sea so special to live in?
PART II: Ecological processes in the Baltic Sea
Chapter 3: Biogeochemical cycles
Chapter 4: Patterns of biodiversity
Chapter 5: Biological invasions
Chapter 6: Genetic diversity and evolution
Chapter 7: Physiological adaptations
PART III: Subsystems of the Baltic Sea ecosystem
Chapter 8: The pelagic food web
Chapter 9: Life associated with Baltic Sea ice
Chapter 10: Deep soft seabeds
Chapter 11: The phytobenthic zone
Chapter 12: Sandy coasts
Chapter 13: Estuaries and coastal lagoons
PART IV: Monitoring and ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea
Chapter 14: Biological indicators
Chapter 15: Bio-optical water quality assessment
Chapter 16: Chemical pollution and ecotoxicology
Chapter 17: Ecosystem health
Chapter 18: Ecosystem goods, services and management
Pauline Snoeijs is a professor in Pelagic Systems Ecology at the University of Stockholm. Her current research deals with the pelagic system of the brackish Baltic Sea and integrates ecology, ecophysiology and biochemistry.