Factors like circulation patterns, temperature, salinity and pH define the properties of a habitat and, with it, its productivity and the distribution of fish species. Currents, fronts and eddies in the ocean have a decisive influence on how marine organisms evolve and distribute. Climate changes impact the physical parameters of seawater (like temperature or acidity) and have thus a direct influence on the marine ecosystems. It is essential to understand these relationships in order to conclude about, and if possible predict, the impact of climatic trends on the marine biota.
In the Thünen Institute we study the influence of the physics of the ocean on fishes and marine ecosystems. This includes both long-scope observation surveys spanning changes of the ocean along decades as well as intensive studies clarifying nature relations in short times. Mathematical models that connect marine physics and biology help understanding complex processes and their influence on ecosystems and to identify the principal agents.