PlantFish is a 3-year research project about bottom vegetation and large predatory fish in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. We are particularly interested in how interactions between plants and fish affect ecosystem functions, ecosystem resilience to disturbance, and generation of natural values.

The project consists of four parts:

We assess the relative importance of coastal vegetation on coastal fish stocks, using statistical modeling based on ca. 10.000 young fish surveys that were conducted during the last decade.
Using field surveys and experiments we explore 1) factors that affect the distribution and diversity of aquatic plants communities, and 2) how plant traits in turn affect ecosystem processes and natural values.
We assess if and how predation from adult fish benefits vegetation, and whether this feeds back positively on juvenile fish, using a combination of field experiments and community surveys along the central Baltic Sea coast,
We experimentally test if and how aquatic plants and large predatory fish can strengthen ecosystem resilience to disturbances like eutrophication.
In the PlantFish project we study factors that regulate coastal vegetation and populations of large predatory fish along the Baltic Sea coastline.
The results from the project will inform stakeholders, managers and policy-makers about i) threshold levels of vegetation and large predatory fish needed to uphold multiple ecosystem services, ii) the impacts of dredging, fishing, and eutrophication on these services, and iii) how integrated management of habitats, vegetation and fish could increase the health of the coastal Baltic Sea.

PlantFish is funded by the Swedish research council Formas.