Small invertebrates play an important role in coastal ecosystems by linking organic material with predators such as fish and altering nutrient cycling in sediments.
Due to their limited mobility, those organisms do not have the ability to avoid environmental and human induced stressors, – that, in Åland Islands (Finland), include low bottom water salinity and eutrophication due to nutrients loading by fish farming, river discharges or sewage water.
Aims, questions, issues
The proposed study aims to understand how invertebrate communities are structured in terms of numbers, species and functional diversity depending on environmental parameters and human disturbances.
How to answer those questions?
In order to be able to answer those questions, we have been in the field sampling during all summer 2019 with Erwan Aublet.
We measured lots of environmental parameters: temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, pH, chlorophyll a, organic content, depth, sediment type, coordinates, …).
In addition, we collected samples to identify which invertebrate species we could find depending on the location.