Virtual laboratory: SECCHI

SECCHI – Sea Ecosystem Climate CHange Interactions

Variability is inseparable characteristics of the marine ecosystems. It is a consequence of climate and climate forcing, internal dynamics as a “predator prey” interaction and anthropogenic factors, like fisheries. Modern research cannot be performed without understanding the climate-ecosystem interactions. Global climate changes, described by continuous and/or sudden climate changes are acting upon structure and functioning of the ecosystem, responding with availability of goods produced by ecosystem. These could further affect economic activities that depend on them. It is a challenge to understand and predict the effects of global variability of climate to the marine ecosystem.
Starting from understanding of physical and chemical ecosystem processes, whose changes may alter the structure of a food web, up to the viability of sustainable exploitation, the challenges in of modern fisheries management is to understand and respect the variability of the ecosystem and these interactions. Traditional approach to understanding variability inside the ecosystem is based on distinguishing the influences of fisheries from those of changing climate.
To some extent the over fishing can be controlled, while climate changes can be recognized and eventually predicted. Whilst over fishing can sometimes dominate, it is not sufficiently indicative parameter of changes, because interactions between fish stock and climate govern changes in already exploited ecosystem. Overexploited marine ecosystems are extremely sensitive to climate forcing. In the world, where the slow climate changes occur, this effect to marine ecosystem is not immediate, but is manifested to some extent through cumulative interaction between fishing and climate variability.

In the ViLAb, special attention is paid to user interface, services for scientists from other branches and to wider public. Namely, the products (analysis and reanalysis) developed from monitoring of interactions between atmosphere and sea can be used in order to explain ecosystem variability of the Adriatic Sea at decadal time scale.

The intention of the SECCHI group is to answer how the physics of atmosphere and sea interacts with biotic properties of the sea, from phytoplankton communities to abundance of fish population and species. The results of investigation till now at the decadal, interannual and climate scales indicate that changes in the atmosphere at regional and larger scales produce changes of the circulation in the Adriatic, with consequences to the entire ecosystem.

Aims of the SECCHI group:
1) To define and control the Winter Adriatic index (WIAdIX)
2) To define and control indicators of the Adriatic ecosystem variability
3) Warnings/announcements about the expected changes of regime of the Adriatic ecosystem, using the defined indices and RSI procedure.


Potential users of this service:
1) Scientific community
2) Fisheries fleet/industry
3) Local community



Skip to content