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University of Dubrovnik
Institute for Marine and Coastal Research

Kneza Damjana Jude 12, POBox 83
HR - 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Tel. +385 20 32 39 78
Fax: +385 20 32 38 72
Nenad Jasprica, PhD, Director,
e-mail: nenad.jasprica@unidu.hr
Gordana Perak, Secretary
e-mail: gordana.perak@unidu.hr

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HRZZ Research Project: AdMedPlan

Project Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) : Influence of thermohaline circulation variations in the Eastern Mediterranean on the plankton community of the South Adriatic: ecological and genetical approach (AdMedPLan)

Voditeljica: dr.sc. Mirna Batistić


University of Dubrovnik, Institute for Marine and Coastal Research / Laboratory for Plankton Ecology and Population Genetics [Sveučilište u Dubrovniku, Institut za more i priobalje - Laboratorij za ekologiju planktona i populacijsku genetiku]:  http://www.imp-du.com/


Title of the Project: Influence of thermohaline circulation variations in the Eastern Mediterranean on the plankton community of the South Adriatic: ecological and genetical approach (AdMedPLan)
Project leader: dr.sc. Mirna Batistić
This project is based on the existence of the Bimodal Oscillating System (BIOS), a feedback mechanism between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea which results in decadal changes of the Northern Ionian Gyre circulation and consequently on the prevalent advection of either Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) or Levantine/Eastern Mediterranean waters into the Adriatic. The advection of different water masses into the Adriatic is potentially one of the main factors affecting the Adriatic ecosystem.
The major potential modes of influence of BiOs on the Adriatic ecosystem are: i) by changing buoyancy content in the South Adriatic which drives the winter convective mixing processes; ii) through impact on the autotrophic biomass due to the change in nutrient availability; iii) by bringing different types of allochthonous organisms into the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The goal of this project is to determine the magnitude of the impact of alternate advection of water masses on the pelagic ecosystem of the South Adriatic, primarily through tracking the changes in plankton communities, which are the first to react in the ecosystem because of their short life cycle and position in the food chain. We will apply phylogeographic methods, which include the usage of nuclear and mitochondrial genetic markers, in order to determine the origin of alien species entering the Adriatic and to assess the influence of BiOS on genetic composition of Adriatic zooplankton communities through the advection of individuals from different parts of Mediterranean basin. The exact mechanisms of influence of the entering water masses on production of the Adriatic are poorly known. Its comprehension could allow forecasting of small pelagic fish catches which could serve as a basis for sustainable management of the fisheries, an important part of Croatian economy.

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