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Modeling the Role of pH on Baltic Sea Cyanobacteria

Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, University of Hamburg, Große Elbstraße 133, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John C. Meeks and Robert Haselkorn
Life 2015, 5(2), 1204-1217;
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
PDF [1075 KB, uploaded 30 March 2015]


We simulate pH-dependent growth of cyanobacteria with an ecosystem model for the central Baltic Sea. Four model components—a life cycle model of cyanobacteria, a biogeochemical model, a carbonate chemistry model and a water column model—are coupled via the framework for aquatic biogeochemical models. The coupled model is forced by the output of a regional climate model, based on the A1B emission scenario. With this coupled model, we perform simulations for the period 1968–2098. Our simulation experiments suggest that in the future, cyanobacteria growth is hardly affected by the projected pH decrease. However, in the simulation phase prior to 1980, cyanobacteria growth and N2-fixation are limited by the relatively high pH. The observed absence of cyanobacteria before the 1960s may thus be explained not only by lower eutrophication levels, but also by a higher alkalinity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Baltic Sea; cyanobacteria; climate change; phytoplankton; pH; ocean acidification Baltic Sea; cyanobacteria; climate change; phytoplankton; pH; ocean acidification

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hinners, J.; Hofmeister, R.; Hense, I. Modeling the Role of pH on Baltic Sea Cyanobacteria. Life 2015, 5, 1204-1217.

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