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Research project BalticCAT – Cumulative effect Assessment Tools for the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea ecosystem and marine life are exposed to many different impact factors at the same time. The BalticCAT research project further develops a food web model that will calculate the effects of a large number of natural and human impact factors.

Seagulls on rocks in the sea
Photo: Katariina Maciel/Mostphotos.

The BalticCAT project aims to support cumulative effect assessments of the Baltic Sea and Kattegat ecosystems, as an important knowledge input to ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning. 

The project will apply spatial-temporal food web models to test the cumulative effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on the state of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and to predict the effects of management actions such as fisheries regulations, reduced nutrient and contaminant emissions and marine protected areas on ecosystem state. 

We will also evaluate potential effects of climate change on the effect of cumulative stressors and on the outcome of management actions. We will support the model results by statistical time-series analyses, providing mechanistic understanding of fish stock responses to multiple stressors. 

The results will be used to evaluate how numerical modelling tools can complement already existing tools for marine cumulative effect assessment, such as Symphony and the HELCOM BSII, for instance by adding understanding of trophic interactions and dynamic simulations and allowing for inclusion of the effects of climate change.

Project members

Project managers

Sofia Wikström

Associate Professor

Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Sofia Wikström. Foto: Niklas Björling/SU


Maciej Tomczak


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Maciej Tomzcak, foto: Niklas Björling/SU

Nataliia Kulatska


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre

Henrik Svedäng

Associate Professor

Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Henrik Svedäng. Foto: Niklas Björling/SU

Marie Löf


Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
Marie Löf, foto: Niklas Björling/SU