Logo SECOSThe Service of Sediments in German Coastal Seas – evaluation the function of marine benthic systems in the context of human use – Service functions of the Baltic Sea


Short Description

Background: In coastal seas like the Baltic Sea land-derived inputs and anthropogenic pressure are directly reflected in the water body but over longer terms particularly in the sediments. Sediments represent spatially highly variable sinks and central reactors for nutrient turnover. Therefore, they have a key function for  the ecological state and biodiversity. Despite their importance the role of sediments has been unsufficiently studied and quantitatively valuated.

Aims: SECOS analyses the distribution and magnitude of sedimentary services in the outer coastal waters of the German Baltic. For selected ecosystem services, a monetary approach is developed. Specifically relevant areas are identified. For those sedimentary areas, functions are determined, mapped and prognostically modeled. For this purpose methods and approaches from maritime sectors of chemistry, geology, physics and biology as well as environmental economy are combined. The results shall be incorporated into a newly-developed functional geo-referenced sediment atlas of the coastal waters for marine coastal systems (Baltic Sea Atlas = central project product). They will serve as a scientific basis for a sustainable coastal zone management and for the implementation of national and international coastal and marine protection policies (Marine Strategy Directive, Water Framework Directive, Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive). Furthermore SECOS will contribute to the advancement of the MSD descriptors  "integrity of the seafloor", "biodiversity" und "food webs“ beitragen.

Results: In the period from April 2013 to March 2016 ecological key processes at representative sites have been examined, quantified an monetarily valuated.

Planned work and products: In the synthesis phase from April 2016 to March 2019 the following tasks will be addressed:

  • spatial extrapolation of results
  • extension of the model systems to the direct shore line
  • development of indicators and de­scriptors for the "good environmental status of marine waters"
  • analysis and assessment of ecosystem services
  • completion of the geographical information system (Baltic Sea Atlas)

SECOS is regionally and substantially complementary to the projects BACOSA, NOAH and STopP. Insights and results of these projects will be integrated into the modular modeling system of the project MOSSCO.



SECOS :                                          04/2013 - 03/2016

SECOS-Synthese:                         04/2016 - 03/2019



SECOS  (gesamt):                          1.767.378,- €

SECOS-Synthese (gesamt):        1.168.160,-€


Coordinator: Leibniz – Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde - IOW

Project partner:

  • Rostock University, Department Maritime Systems
  • Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)
  • Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
  • Zuse Institute Berlin
  • Kiel University, Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management


Recent Publications:

  • Gogina M, Morys C, Forster S, Gräwe U, Friedland R, Zettler ML (2017) Towards benthic ecosystem functioning maps: Quantifying bioturbation potential in the German part of the Baltic Sea.  Ecological Indicators 73:574–588.
  • Morys C, Forster S, Graf G (2016) Variability of bioturbation in various sediment types and on different spatial scales in the southwestern Baltic Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 557:31–49.
  • SchulzK& Umlauf L (2016) Residual Transport of Suspended Sediment by Tidal Straining near Sloping Topography. Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (7):2083–2102. 


  • Baltic Sea Atlas:
  • Hintergrundbericht Nährstoffreduktionsziele Ostsee, Bund/Länder-Ausschuss Nord- und Ostsee BLANO (Herausgeber); Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit Mitglieder aus dem KüNO-Programm G. Schernewski, R. Friedland, G. Nausch, Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde (IOW), 97 S.





  • Project coordinator
    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bathmann
    Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

    Seestr. 15, 18119 Rostock
    Tel: +49 381 5197 100
    ulrich.bathmann [at]
  • Project management
    Dr. Friederike Kunz

    Tel: +49 381 498 8923 (Uni HRO)/ +49 381 5197 2009 (IOW)
    friederike.kunz [at]