Our research about biotopes in the Baltic Sea

Coastal areas in the Baltic Sea accommodate many important habitats for a high diversity of species. There are exposed cliffs with small turf algae, kelpforests of bladderwrack, shallow bays with meadows of rooted flowering plants or red listed stoneworts. In some of the habitats there are plenty of species, in others few. Some function as nursing grounds for fish, some do not. Nature below the sea surface is as varied as it is on land. But knowledge is still lacking about which species live where, interactions among the species, ecological processes and ecosystem functions of the habitats.

A few of our researchers work with improving the knowledge about coastal habitats. Some questions they focus on are: Where are the habitats located? How do animals and plants interact within the habitats? How is the environmental condition of the habitats, and how does it change over time? Where are the highest natural values? Which are the major threats? How can we protect the habitats and species? How does the existing protection work? We think the issues are important for an adequate management of the Baltic Sea.

Below is a list of projects.

Films, reports and news on biotopes can be found here!

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Grund vik i Östersjön


The aim of this project is to develop methods to describe the value and magnitude of ecosystem services in the coastal zones, to enable their integration in political decisions and in the end contribute to a sustainable management of the coastal zone.



The Baltic Sea Centre takes part in the project Plant-Fish, which aims to examine whether and how the vegetation and predatory fish benefit each other through positive feedback mechanisms.

Baltic Bridge

Baltic Bridge

This project facilitates the forming of new links between researchers, development of joint course activities and potentially also development of infrastructure, between the Universities of Helsinki and Stockholm.

indikator för grunda Östersjövikar

Indicators for shallow bays

The Baltic Sea Centre has developed a new indicator that can be used to determine the ecological status of shallow Baltic Sea bays based on the bottom vegetation.

EMMA karta

Coastal exploitation and marine habitats

In this project we investigate how human activities affect marine habitats in the coastal environment and what type of habitats that are most affected. The goal is also to transmit this knowledge to society and decision makers.

BNI logga


BalticAPP is a BONUS project that will study both the supply and demand of marine ecosystem services across the entire Baltic Sea region in a spatially and temporally detailed manner.

Blåstång är en viktig art i Östersjön. Foto: Joakim Hansen

Depth distribution of Baltic bladderwrack

The goal with this project is to investigate how the depth distribution of bladderwrack has changed in the last decade in the Baltic Sea, and to examine reasons for these possible changes.

We offer ground resources ...

One of the Baltic Centre's main tasks is to provide, develop and maintain expensive physical and financial resources for marine research.

... and convey useful knowledge

Another important task is to make research results and information available for those who work with management as well as and other interested parties.