Trophic interactions in the pelagic environment

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Short description

I work on predator-prey interactions in planktons, physical-biological coupling and food web dynamics in the pelagic environment.

Predation in marine pelagic ecosystems

Predation is the ultimate evolutionary force that shapes all forms of life, also the smallest plankton in the sea. Food webs are formed as a result of predation and trophic cascades are observed in all places that one investigates. A constantly changing environment and organisms that grow fast and have short generation times create a rapidly changing ecosystem which efficiently use resources.

Controlling factors for this fundamental structure are the focus of my research. I use phytoplankton, nanoflagellates, ciliates and copepods in bottle incubations to investigate the predator–prey interactions. In the field, I coordinate a 37-year long monitoring programme measuring the production and structure of plankton every 2 weeks at three stations in the Gullmar Fjord.  

Ongoing projects

  • Long-term monitoring of primary production and plankton in the Gullmar Fjord
  • Trophic cascades in coastal zooplankton communities
  • Trophic interactions among microzooplankton

Previous projects

  • Baltic Zooplankton cascades, BONUS+project 2009-2011
  • A new invader in the Baltic Sea—Feeding and ecosystem impact by the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi
  • Assessment of community structure and seston quality effects on plankton carbon fluxes at two contrasting coastal sites
  • Density dependent grazing rates in a natural microzooplankton community


Peter Tiselius (professor)