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To balance the water  and team - Blog

Curonian lagoon

02.11.11, 19:42 (comments: 0)

Have you ever heard about coastal lagoons? Do you have any idea where such water bodies can be found? If you look carefully on a map of the Baltic Sea, paying close attention to the coastal zone, you will be able to find these special places – whole bodies of water separated from the sea or ocean by the land.  It is here that the mixing of fresh and marine water can be observed. These ecosystems are termed ‘transitional’ waters and play a significant role in accumulating nutrients and toxic substances originating from terrestrial sources and are important as nurseries for some species of marine fish and migratory birds.

There are four lagoons on the Baltic Sea coast and one of them, the Curonian Lagoon, can be found on the coast of Lithuania. It is the biggest lagoon in Europe and very interesting for scientific investigations. To be more exact, only part of lagoon (transitional zone) belongs to Lithuania and other part is Russian territory.

The Curonian Lagoon is intensively researched by the Costal Research and Planning Institute (Klaipėda University). The main topics of  research are spatio-temporal dynamics of plankton and benthic communities and, also, the different aspects of ecosystem functioning (grazing, benthic-pelagic coupling, sediment modifying ability of benthos, etc). A group of young scientists involved with these research projects are currently investigating biogeochemical cycles of the lagoon; I will tell you more next time…

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