Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Subject "Baltic Sea"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Sairanen, Eeva Elisa (2015)
    Sound travels faster and further in water than in air while electromagnetic radiation, among it visible light, attenuates fast. Marine animals have adapted to use sound in foraging, predator avoidance, orientation and communication with conspecifics. The underwater soundscape of the Baltic Sea remains largely undiscovered. The area is a unique acoustic environment due to its variant hydrography, broken coastline, shallowness, low salinity and the resulting strong stratifications. The harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is the only cetacean inhabiting the area, and its Baltic Sea subpopulation is critically endangered. This work is based on first sound pressure measurements of BIAS (Baltic Sea Information on the Acoustic Soundscape) -project by Finnish Environment Institute and other project participants. Measured sound pressure levels are compared to weather and shipping observations to collect information about the contributions of natural and anthropogenic sound sources to underwater sound pressure levels in the Baltic Sea. In addition porpoise observations collected at the Universities of Southern Denmark and Århus are compared to measured sound pressure levels and shipping data to examine if increased noise levels or increased shipping activity have an impact on harbor porpoise echolocation activity. The results show that at the Gulf of Finland both weather and shipping drive the levels of ambient noise at low frequencies (63 and 125 Hz third-octave bands). However the sound pressure levels caused by ships near the stations (up to 5 km) always exceeded all natural variation. Increased sound pressure levels and ship proximity seemed to have an impact on porpoise activity at the area. When a ship was very close (2 km), the registrations of porpoise echolocation clicks decreased with decreasing proximity to ship. On the other hand during spring months an increase in porpoise echolocation was recorded in relation to increased sound pressure levels, which might indicate the porpoises compensating to increased background noise by echolocating more frequently or loudly.
  • Repetti, Sonja I. (2022)
    My master’s thesis aims to determine the effect of salinity on phytoplankton traits related to nutrient acquisition, and particularly how this interacts with resource availability. Salinity is an important driver structuring phytoplankton communities in the Baltic Sea. Salinity can also influence nutrient uptake by increasing metabolic rates required for osmotic adjustment. Thus, interaction between salinity and nutrient availability is expected to change community structure by altering phytoplankton traits determining resource competition. This is a particularly relevant area of study for the Baltic Sea due to predicted future freshening of the sea’s upper layer. We performed a microcosm experiment using artificial communities of 10 diverse phytoplankton species grown under different combinations of salinity (0, 5, 12 and 24), Nitrogen to Phosphorus molar ratio (N:P ratio = 2, 10, 16 and 80) and light (10 and 130 µmol photon m-2 s-1) conditions. A three-way interaction among these environmental parameters influenced phytoplankton traits associated with resource competition, as well as the presence and proportions of phytoplankton taxa. Light limitation inhibited community growth under all salinity conditions, but allowed diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to dominate. Community growth rate was higher under high light, but also more variable between salinity conditions. The strongest negative effects of nutrient limitation (N, P, and both nutrients together), both on growth rate and taxonomic diversity, were observed in the highest salinity treatment. In the freshwater treatment with the highest proportion of green algae Monoraphidium sp., N-limitation did not inhibit phytoplankton community growth and P-limitation had a more profound negative effect on community performance. Decreasing salinity appeared to decrease community C:N and C:P ratios. This shift is in opposition to the increasing C:N and C:P predicted as a consequence of other climate change-related drivers. Our results emphasise the importance of a trade-off between salinity and resource limitation in functioning of phytoplankton communities and suggest that future freshening of the Baltic Sea is likely to modify phytoplankton community composition and performance.
  • Pykäri, Janina (2022)
    Light is crucial for aquatic ecosystems, as photosynthesis supports the higher trophic levels. Light attenuates in water due to absorption and scattering by optically active substances (OAS), the main ones in coastal environments being chlorophyll-a (chl-a), particulate matter and coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Light attenuation measurements are also important indicators of many environmental changes. Traditionally, Secchi depth has been used to monitor changes in light attenuation. However, Secchi depth (ZS) is a not an accurate estimate of light attenuation, and conversion to light attenuation coefficient (Kd) is needed to study light conditions as aquatic organisms observe them. Therefore, calibration between methods is important. In this study, light attenuation was estimated with Secchi disc, a light meter and light loggers to scrutinize the possibilities of autonomous measurements in this context. The aims of the study were 1) to compare three methods for estimating light attenuation and 2) to identify the environmental drivers affecting the relationships and accuracy of these methods, and 3) to assess the possibility of using conductivity as a proxy for light attenuation. The main hypotheses were that the differences in conversion between ZS and the two sensor-based methods in different concentrations of optically active substances can be explained by contribution of scattering to light attenuation, and that variation in different Kd-estimates is due to the different measurement spectra. The effect of three OASs (chl-a, particulate matter, CDOM) on differences among light attenuation estimates were quantified in Pohjanpitäjänlahti bay. Light attenuation was mainly controlled by CDOM, followed by particulate matter and chl-a. Conductivity was found to be a good proxy for light attenuation. However, there was a mixed signal if the differences among methods could be explained by OAS concentrations or conductivity, as the hypotheses were supported with one device pair but not with the other. Therefore, the differences among light measurement methods might stem from the characteristics of the devices or measurement errors. However, all the methods were found suitable for tracking changes in light attenuation and a summary table of the advantages and disadvantages of each method is presented to help choose a suitable method to estimate light attenuation e.g., in future studies or environmental monitoring.
  • Karvonen, Lassi (2021)
    As water flow encounters an object on the sea floor, its hydrodynamics change. Accelerated currents and vortices develop around the object with changing intensity as a function of distance from its proximity. This leads to erosion and aggradation of sediment, known as scour. Studies focusing on formation processes of scour often involve locating visible scour sites by sonar scanning the geomorphology of the seafloor. However, the effects of scour on macroinfauna and small-scale sediment characteristics are not visible in sonar images. In this Master’s thesis, scour at a shipwreck of a timber-built historic sailing ship, the Joskär shipwreck, was first identified by scanning the study area with side-scan sonar, and by measuring water depth contours around the shipwreck by scuba diving. Sediment samples were then taken inside the area assumed to be under the most pressure from scour. Samples from three separate distances on two transects drawn outwards from the hull of the shipwreck were collected and analysed for sediment grain size, organic content, and species assemblages of macroinfauna. In addition, macrofauna were analysed for individual lengths, number of individuals, diversity index, and functional groups. All samples were collected with a core tube sampler operated by a scuba diver. The methods used in this Master’s thesis widen the concept of scour past the sole physical processes observable with sonar to a more holistic level that considers the quality of biological, geological, and chemical characteristics of the benthic environment. The results of the present Master’s thesis show that the quality of the sediment near Joskär shipwreck varies within a relatively small scale. Organic content of the sediment was the most potent descriptor of scour at the study site, exhibiting a consistent decreasing trend as distance to the shipwreck increased on both sampled transects. Sediment grain size became finer as distance to the shipwreck increased. However, compared to grain size, based on visual observations of the sediment samples, shell debris content of the sediment could possibly act as a better measure of presence of scour. The variability of characteristics of macroinfaunal communities as a function of distance from Joskär shipwreck was not a viable tool to describe the presence of scour, as no consistent trends of the variables were observed. As no control site was included in the study design, the characteristics of the benthic environment inside the scour around Joskär shipwreck could not be compared to the seafloor unaffected by scour. Further research could reveal possible variation between these distinct habitats, and that way produce valuable indicators of scour. The hypothesis in the present thesis was that macroinfaunal assemblages and sediment characteristics would exhibit variation between the sampling sites as a function of distance from the shipwreck. The observed trends of sediment characteristics validated a part of the hypothesis, showcasing the utility of sediment characteristics in describing scour at Joskär shipwreck. However, a part of the hypothesis was rejected, as no consistent trends of macroinfaunal features were present.
  • Mehtonen, Monica (2019)
    The Baltic ringed (Pusa hispida botnica) and grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) populations have experienced dramatic changes in their abundances since the early 20th century, when their populations were much larger than today but since then have declined due to over exploitation and reproductive challenges linked to environmental pollutants. Both populations have however, begun to recover, and their numbers have increased since the 1970s. This increase has led to more seal-inflicted damages to coastal fisheries resulting in the demand to control their populations. In Finland, fishermen have reported significant economic losses, and many consider seals as the main threat to their livelihood. However, our knowledge on the diet composition and foraging behaviour of Baltic ringed and grey seals in Finnish sea area is lacking. In order to achieve sustainable seal management, more information on their diet is thus needed. Therefore, to shed light on the diet composition of Baltic seals in Finland, I examined the stomach contents from 156 ringed and 73 grey seals collected in 2017 across the Finnish sea area. Furthermore, I analysed dietary differences between demographic factors (i.e. age and sex), and seals from different geographic regions. A total of 15 prey taxa, of which 13 fish species or groups were identified. Ringed seal diet was dominated by benthic isopod Saduria entomon that was recovered from over half of the stomachs. In addition to Saduria entomon, herring (Clupea harengus) were the most important fish species consumed. Other important prey were gobies (Gobiidae), smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) and common whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus). In terms of biomass, common whitefish became the most important prey whereas in numbers gobies dominated the diet. For grey seals, herring were the most common and numerous prey consumed that made up most of their diet. Other common species were sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and smelt. Other prey did not contribute substantially to grey seal diet. Additionally, the results of this study showed differences in diet composition between seals of different age and sex.
  • Kangas, Jonna (2022)
    Climate change is expected to cause salinity change in the Baltic Sea and therefore may affect organisms living in the Baltic such as plankton. The microbial loop is an important part of the plankton food web. It consists of heterotrophic bacteria, nanoflagellates and ciliates and is connected with the classic plankton food chain through interactions with primary producers and mesozooplankton. Therefore, salinity affects the functioning of the microbial food web not only directly, but also through salinity induced changes on primary producers and mesozooplankton. In this master’s thesis I studied the effects of salinity change on microbial loop components bacteria, nanoflagellates and ciliates in an outdoor mesocosm experiment containing four salinity treatments with salinities of 3.5, 5.5, 7.5 and 9.5, three replicas each. The experiment took place offshore at the Tvärminne Zoological Station. Bacteria were sampled from the mesocosms every other day and nanoflagellates and ciliates every 6th day. Bacteria were analysed with the flow cytometer, nanoflagellates with epifluorescent microscopy and ciliates using an inverted microscope. The effects of salinity on microbial loop components were statistically tested using linear mixed effects models. Results of the experiment show that salinity had an indirect effect on microbial loop components through changes in mesozooplankton composition. There were significant differences between high and low salinity treatments in bacteria abundance and composition, the interaction strength between HNFs and bacteria and in the mean cell size of ciliate communities. These were mainly caused by differences in mesozooplankton community structure between salinity treatments, which had cascading effects on the strength of top-down and bottom-up control on the trophic levels of the microbial loop, leading to changes in bacteria abundances and composition. Based on the results of this thesis, more studies are needed to detect the effects that changes in the composition and functioning of the microbial loop might have on the ecosystem. Further research should also focus on the significance of the structure and diversity of the communities within the microbial loop as well as the functional roles of different species in the microbial food web.
  • Halonen, Viivi (2021)
    During the last century, a decline in the canopy-forming foundation species Fucus vesiculosus has been observed in the Baltic Sea. The widely studied typical form of F. vesiculosus, that lives anchored to hard substrata, is at risk of further declines in the following century due to eutrophication and changes in water temperature and salinity. Fucus vesiculosus also exists in the Baltic Sea as a less common free-living form, which lives deposited in sheltered and shallow bays. This free-living form has been left understudied and little is known about their role in the ecosystem or the potential consequences of its disappearance. However, their occurrence may be equally or more under threat in the event of the aforementioned environmental changes. Additionally, it is currently unknown if mats of F. vesiculosus cause anoxia in the sediment below. This thesis will investigate the macroepifaunal and macroinfaunal communities associated to the presence of free-living F. vesiculosus across different sites in both Finland and Sweden. We will also estimate if F. vesiculosus causes anoxia. For this study, replicate frames of F. vesiculosus, including all vegetation and epifaunal community, were collected using mesh bags. Infaunal samples were randomly collected using benthic cores, both under the mat of F. vesiculosus and the adjacent bare soft bottom. All macroinvertebrates were identified to the lowest possible taxa, counted and weighed. Morphological measurements of F. vesiculosus thalli, such as length of thallus and wet weight, were recorded for every frame. Our results showed that the presence of free-living F. vesiculosus has a consistent effect across the two study locations. We found that increasing wet weight of F. vesiculosus significantly increased the abundance and biomass of the macroepifauna. The highest infaunal animal abundance and biomass were found in the bare sediment with high occurrence of opportunistic taxa. However, we found potential evidence to suggest that the presence of F. vesiculosus mats does not cause anoxia in the sediment. This study provides a much-needed first look into the macrofaunal communities associated to the free-living Fucus vesiculosus. Our study demonstrated that free-living F. vesiculosus is a potential foundation species in shallow, sheltered bays of the Baltic Sea by increasing the number of present taxa compared to adjacent bare sediment. Higher F. vesiculosus biomass directly increased the abundance and biomass of the macroepifaunal community, and the presence of free-living Fucus vesiculosus was not found to have significant negative effects on the associated macroinfaunal community.
  • Riitakorpi, Johanna (2020)
    Ecosystem modelling gives us a tool to understand the complicated processes in an ecological system. When studying the changes in an ecosystem, the system health is one of the main characteristics to define. Healthy ecosystem can endure stress and is in stable state. Ecological network analysis and different ecological indices have been used as a basis for measuring the state of an ecosystem, characterizing the dynamics of marine environments, and quantifying the impacts of fishing. The Archipelago Sea, located in Northern Baltic Sea, is characterized by large gradients in salinity and numerous islands. The area is greatly affected by human impact and climate change. However, no broad research on ecosystem changes has been carried out, hence, there is a need for holistic models both scientifically and societally to understanding the changing ecosystem thoroughly and to provide contribution in the decision-making processes of environmental management actions. The aim of this study was to find out how the state of the Archipelago Sea food web has changed from 1990 to 2014. Three steady-state trophic models of the study area for three different years (1990, 2000 and 2014) were constructed using the Ecopath modelling software and approach. The changes in the study area were measured comparing the calculated ecological indices and fishing impact indicators. The models captured changes in the system such as before and after the invasion of non-indigenous species, increase of cormorants, increase of seals, and decrease of cod. The models consist of 23 (1990), 25 (2000) and 27 (2014) different functional groups from predators to producers and detritus. The quality of the models was tested and according to three different approaches, the models can be said to adequately represent the Archipelago Sea food web and ecosystem. The ecosystem indices calculated showed that there had been system wide changes. The state of the Archipelago Sea food web had changed during the study period to a less mature but more resilient condition. This was due to the increase in number of predator species and higher primary production and flow to detritus. The fishing impact on ecosystem changed as fishery practice experienced a change into a more industrialized direction. Changes in trophic levels and ecosystem composition were observed. The invasion of non-indigenous species and the increase in top predators such as seals and the great cormorant affected the structure of the food web. In Addition, the decrease of flounder and unsuccessful recovery of cod have had an impact on the ecosystem and its maturity. Further research on the Archipelago Sea food web is needed. The ecosystem is stressed and does not show recovery; hence, management actions may become necessary. Future simulations based on these Ecopath models would facilitate the selection of the most suitable ecosystem management application. Knowledge of the whole ecosystem and its health is required, and this can be achieved with the help of ecosystem modelling.
  • Ahlblad, Niklas (2021)
    The infection mechanisms between cold-active bacteria and their respective bacteriophages are currently relatively unknown and undocumented. Shewanella sp. 4 is a cold-active bacterium that was recently isolated from Baltic Sea ice along with bacteriophage isolate 1/4. Little is known about this particular isolate, although many Shewanella species have important environmental roles incl. carbon cycling, and they have also been associated with the spoilage of fishery products and bioremediation. Previous studies have shown that an infection caused by bacteriophages may lead to significant changes in transfer RNA (tRNA) modifications in the host cell. Commonly, tRNA modification levels may be altered as a response to different stressors, to which viral infections belong as well. Bacteriophages may take advantage of tRNA modifications during the infection of their host, as changes in tRNA modifications lead to much faster response than affecting only the transcription and translation machineries. Here, the infection cycle and changes in tRNA modifications in Shewanella sp. 4 were investigated, along with using a more defined growth media and comparing it to previously conducted characterization. A multitude of methods were applied, such as transmission electron microscopy and mass spectrometry, to observe both the infection mechanisms and changes in tRNA modifications over the course of the infection. I found that the infection cycle of the phage-host pair is predictable and consistent with previously conducted research, lasting 3 hours until cell lysis. Plaque assay and SDS-PAGE showed the release of virions 2-3 h post-infection (p.i.), and the production of viral proteins within cells starting from 100 min p.i. An intriguing periodic change in cell turbidity was also observed already before cell lysis. Furthermore, the tRNA modifications m1A, m5U, m6t6A, and Cm undergo statistically significant changes or display high variance during the course of the infection when comparing infected and uninfected cells. These may affect tRNA structural stability, translational accuracy, and cleavage in the host cell, showing possible importance during the infection. Understanding the fundamentals of the infection mechanisms involved in this bacterium-bacteriophage pair gives further insight into their role in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. This is especially relevant for establishing Shewanella as a potential laboratory model for studying molecular mechanisms that further cold-active metabolism.
  • Syrjänen, Aino (2023)
    Human-induced nutrient enrichment has led to eutrophication, which is globally a severe environmental problem in aquatic ecosystems. Eutrophication has a variety of deteriorating effects on marine ecosystems in the form of e.g., cyanobacterial blooms, bottom water hypoxia and anoxia, as well as increased fish and benthos mortality. The Baltic Sea is especially prone to eutrophication due to the combined effects of restricted water exchange and extensive nutrient loads. Nutrient enrichment reinforces primary production which further enhances organic matter remineralisation in the sediment – water interface, leading to oxygen depletion in the bottom waters. Decreased oxygen concentrations on the seafloor can lead to the release of phosphorus bound to reducible iron oxides. The so-called ‘vicious circle’ of internal loading is formed through the further enhanced nutrient release from the sediments into the water column due to the reduced bottom water conditions resulting from increased supply of organic matter into the system. However, the processes controlling phosphorus transport from land to sea through the ‘coastal filter’ remain poorly understood. In this study, sediments from Paimionlahti estuary were examined for phosphorus content and bulk elemental composition. Sedimentary phosphorus contents were determined through chemical extractions. The extracted fractions of phosphorus (P) include Fe oxide bound P (Fe-P), authigenic apatite P (Ca-P I), detrital apatite P (Ca-P II), and organic P (org-P). The fraction of Fe-P dominated in the upper sediment layers in most sites, whereas more unreactive fractions associated with P burial remained constant through sediment depth. The generally unreactive forms of P illustrated increasing trends towards open sea areas, partly explained by changes in the overall sediment composition as well as by potential differences in environmental conditions among sampling sites. The highest amounts of Fe-P were recorded in sites with the highest sediment accumulation. The results demonstrate that P from rivers is transformed and processed in the coastal zone, delaying its transport to the open sea.
  • Isotalo, Teija (2020)
    Anthropogenic activity has enhanced global warming at alarming rates, causing temperatures to increase and heat waves to occur more frequently. The effects of global warming are prominent in aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the Baltic Sea. Temperature increases and fluctuations in the Baltic Sea create a changing environment and this can affect inhabiting species’ behaviors, specifically behaviors during reproduction. Reproductive behavior influences both the number and quality of offspring born into a population therefore making behavior changes during reproduction important to study. The three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), an ectothermic animal, inhabits the Baltic Sea and is an ideal species to study reproductive behavioral changes. Although previous studies have researched three-spined sticklebacks in changing environments, none had specifically looked into the effects of rising temperatures and temperature fluctuations on male three-spined stickleback reproductive behavior. The three-spined stickleback is of particular interest because it reproduces in shallow waters which tend to be more affected by temperature changes. In this study, I aimed to investigate behavioral responses of stickleback males to higher temperatures and to temperature fluctuations during reproduction, as well as the consequences the responses have for reproductive success and the viability of offspring. In order to see how this species would cope with rising temperatures and heat waves during reproduction, a comparative climate chamber experiment was executed in Southern Finland at Tvärminne Zoological Station. Males were housed in either 19°C or 14°C for two breeding cycles, and for the second breeding cycle eight males switched temperatures to experience a temperature fluctuation. Results show that during reproduction, three-spined sticklebacks respond to higher temperatures with increased courtship activity, increased parental activity, quicker breeding cycles, and more weight lost. Parental care activity in constant high temperature decreases from the first to the second breeding cycle, while parental activity in constant low temperature increases. During temperature fluctuations, males experiencing a rise in temperature increase their parental care activity, while males experiencing a drop in temperature demonstrate the opposite. However, no significant consequences of temperature and temperature changes for reproductive success and the viability of offspring were detected during the two breeding cycles. Overall, the results of this study would indicate that the three-spined stickleback will prove to be a resilient species, and maintain population growth in the face of increased temperatures and temperature fluctuations in the Baltic Sea.
  • Jylhä-Vuorio, Anni (2023)
    Marine debris is a problem that also affects sea birds. Several bird species are known to utilise marine debris among their nest materials in different parts of the world. Debris in nests can cause entanglement and increase the risk of debris ingestion, and hazardous substances leaching from plastics can have negative effects on birds. There are also anecdotal observations of debris in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) nests in the Gulf of Finland, however, systematic studies are lacking. In this Master’s thesis I examined the prevalence of debris in cormorant nests in the Gulf of Finland, focusing mainly on plastic debris. The study was carried out in four nesting islets, which were located in Kotka, Porvoo, Espoo and Kirkkonummi. The sampling took place in autumn 2021. 50 nests were randomly sampled on each nesting islet, and plastic debris in the nest was counted and classified according to their type, colour and origin. Plastic debris was further categorized in the laboratory according to their polymer type using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Debris from the nesting islets was also counted and classified according to their type, colour and origin. In total, 58% of the nests contained debris, but the prevalence of debris in the nests varied between the colonies; In Kirkkonummi debris was found in 92% of the nests while in Porvoo only 34% of the nests included debris. Plastics constituted great majority of nest debris (95%). Most common source for plastic debris was consumers, most common plastic type threadlike and polymer type polyethylene (PE). The number of debris in the nests was linked to the width and location of the nests: core nests contained more debris than periphery nests and the number of debris in the nest was positively correlated with the width of the nest. The amount of threadlike plastics in the nests was higher than that in the surrounding environment, indicating active selection by cormorants for threadlike debris types as nest material. Based on the results of this thesis, nest surveys could be a useful tool in evaluating the effectiveness of certain reduction measures aiming to tackle marine plastic pollution.
  • Kangas, Anna (2022)
    Aims and methods: Global plastic production is increasing annually and microplastics (MPs, particles of <5 mm in size) have been reported in the environment worldwide. In aquatic systems plastic pollution is present especially in coastal habitats, and MPs can concentrate within littoral zone vegetation. Numerous marine animals are known to be able to ingest MPs, and plastics can also have adverse effects on the health and behaviour of the exposed animals. This Master’s thesis examined trophic transfer of MPs in a Baltic Sea littoral food chain. Laboratory experiments with 10 µm fluorescence microspheres were conducted to study trophic transfer between food chains of different lengths. The longest food chain had three trophic levels: zooplankton, chameleon shrimp (Praunus flexuosus) and rockpool prawn (Palaemon elegans). Also, the gut passage time of rockpool prawn was experimentally studied. The digestive tracts of the studied animals were analysed for MPs under an epifluorescence microscope. Results: The results show that trophic transfer may be an important pathway of microplastic exposure for animals at higher trophic levels. The number of ingested microspheres in both chameleon shrimp and rockpool prawn was higher when the animals were exposed through pre-exposed prey in comparison to direct exposure from the water. In addition, the prawns ingested more MPs in the experiment with three trophic levels than in the two-level experiment. The results support earlier findings, that the feeding mode affects the microplastic exposure of animals. There were no clear results from the gut passage time experiment.
  • Näppilä, Meeri (2023)
    The coastal Baltic Sea hosts a very special ecosystem due to its brackish water and high seasonality. However, there is little research on the seasonality of the ecosystem and organic matter (OM) cycling, as many studies are conducted during summer or in areas without ice cover. This study is based on material collected continously over one year (Oct 2012-Oct 2013) by a sequencing sediment trap at 7-56 day intervals. It will provide knowledge of the seasonal variability in the vertical flux of organic material (TOC) and its sources (C:N, δ13C, δ15N) as well as dinoflagellate resting stages (dinocysts). Dinoflagellates are important primary producers in the Baltic Sea, some of which produce well-preserving resting stages (cysts). The seasonal changes in the fluxes and source of OM and dinoflagellate species' seasonal succession are not only ecologically interesting, but as both are used as sediment paleo proxies, provide more information for reliable reconstruction models for the Baltic Sea in the past. The seasonal sedimentation of the coastal Baltic Sea was strongly impacted by seasonality, with strong primary production causing high OM sedimentation rate during spring bloom and lack of primary production causing very small sediment flux in winter. During the fall resuspension played a big role in sedimentation. Only three species of dinocysts were present in the trap samples and most of the dinocyst flux of the whole year was formed by Biecheleria baltica. Most important drivers of B. baltica abundance and encystment were likely temperature signals for encystment at 6 °C and a small bloom under ice that got B. baltica a head start for competition in the spring bloom. Changes in terrestrial material input were not clearly visible in the sedimenting material, but primary production had an enriching influence on the OM stable isotopic composition and elevated the C:N ratio due to reaching limiting conditions of N. During winter long sea-ice cover and cold-water temperature created anomaly depleted isotopic composition similar to those in Arctic ecosystems. Even with long time-series of phytoplankton spring blooms, more knowledge is needed of links to environmental characteristics to better understand how climate change and eutrophication will impact the spring bloom in the Baltic Sea. Especially more information of under ice conditions are needed for a better understanding of the past, present and future of the Baltic Sea.