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 Per Jonsson

 Ongoing Research Projects

- Flow effects on larval and spore settlement

- Chemical ecology of marine sponges

- BioFlow - European biohydrodynamic network

- Mechanistic models of relationships between xbiodiversity and ecosystem functioning

- Larval dispersal and population connectivity


Exploring cyprid of Balanus improvisus
(photo Kent Berntsson)

Flow effects on larval and spore settlement

The flow of water affects dispersal stages of marine sessile invertebrates and macroalgae in several ways. The hydrodynamic effects range from large-scale dispersal to small-scale effects on contact rate with suitable surfaces, and physical forces constraining settlement and adhesion. The aim of the project is to study how hydrodynamics determines the recruitment of new individuals and to understand underlying mechanisms. Experimental results and models of how hydrodynamic forces control settlement and adhesion will also have implications for the development of new non-toxic techniques to control biofouling on man-made constructions.

Contact person: Per Jonsson

Funded through the European Union 5th FP and European Structural Funds (Europeiska Regionala Utvecklingsfonden Mål 2)

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The sponge Geodia barretti at 125 m depth.
(photo Thomas Lundälv)

Chemical ecology of marine sponges.

Many marine organisms are thought to be chemically defended against predation and biofouling of their body surface. The aim of this project is to test hypotheses about chemical defence in marine sponges where we at present work with Geodia barretti. Specifically, we have isolated bioactive compounds, characterised their molecular structure, determined their release into their environment, and in ongoing research we explore the physiological mode of action of these compounds

This research is part of the project Marine Pharmacognosy which is a collaboration between Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory and the Department of Pharmacognosy, Uppsala University.

Funded partly by Formas.
Contact persons Per Jonsson, Martin Sjögren and Lars Bohlin

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BioFlow - Flume Facility Co-operation Network for Biological Benthic Boundary Layer Research

BioFlow is a European network project with the aim to improve the knowledge about the direct interactions between benthic organisms and the hydrodynamic regime. Flume tanks provide the means of investigating these processes experimentally and provide the necessary data required for developing predictive models of transport of sediment particles, nutrients, pollutants and small organisms such as algae and invertebrate larvae. The network will be especially valuable in providing access to the right type of flume facility for specific research questions as well as in integrating and interpreting data and incorporating these in models. BioFlow will further organise a series of workshop, and will offer opportunities for exchange of young scientists among participating laboratories.

Contact person: Per Jonsson

Funded through the European Union 5th FP

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Mechanistic models of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Many marine ecosystems today are suffering accelerated loss of biodiversity. The purpose of the project is to test experimentally how ecosystem functions are affected by loss of marine biodiversity. Specific studies address effects of primary producer diversity and interactions with herbivore diversity, and how these effects may be modified by dispersal. We also study the effect of intraspecific diversity and its effects on larval settlement in barnacles.

Funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency within the MARBIPP program and by Formas.

Contact person Per Jonsson and Lars Gamfeldt

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Snapshot of hydrodynamic model (MIKE21) simulating larval dispersal in the Adriatic Sea.

Larval dispersal and population connectivity.

Populations are demographically and genetically connected in space by dispersal. This connectivity has far-reaching consequences for population dynamics, community structure and genetic diversity. Accumulating evidence indicate that many populations are less connected than previously assumed, especially on ecological time scales. This interdisciplinary project aims toward a new framework for analysis and prediction of connectivity in marine populations. We will formulate models of connectivity, combining ocean flow  and traits of dispersing propagules, and test predictions against observed data on recruitment, invasions, and genetic structure. Specifically, we address the following research problems:

- Do spatially explicit dispersal models predict less open populations than previously believed?

- How will different propagule traits translate into dispersal patterns under a series of physical transport scenarios?

- How do spatially explicit models compare to more simplistic models?

- How may the location of spawning areas affect connectivity and survival?

- How sensitive are connectivities to shifts in physical transport caused by proposed scenarios of climate change?

The project will contribute to a better understanding of dispersal as a factor generating and eroding biodiversity. Moreover, results are expected to support new strategies of biodiversity management, e.g. through better design of protected areas.

The project is carried out in collaboration with Docent Kristofer Döös, Dept of Meteorology, Stockholm University.

Funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Contact person Per Jonsson and Andreas Sundelöf

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Per.Jonsson@tmbl.gu.se