This synthesis article is based on a collaborative effort highlighting the importance of benthic-pelagic coupling under changing environmental conditions using the Baltic Sea as a case study.
We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic–pelagic coupling processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures – climate change,nutrient loading, and ﬁshing – and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. We emphasize how improved empirical and experimental understanding of benthic–pelagic coupling processes and their variability are necessary to inform models that can quantify the feedbacks among processes and ecosystem responses to a changing world, and give recommendation for future research.
Griffiths, J. R., Kadin, M., Nascimento, F. J. A., Tamelander, T., Törnroos, A., Bonaglia, S., Bonsdorff, E., Brüchert, V., Gårdmark, A., Järnström, M., Kotta, J., Lindegren, M., Nordström, M. C., Norkko, A., Olsson, J., Weigel, B., Žydelis, R., Blenckner, T., Niiranen, S. and Winder, M. (2017) The importance of benthic–pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world. Glob Change Biol. doi:10.1111/gcb.13642