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The objective of the BarEcoRe project is to evaluate the effects of global environmental change on the future structure and resilience of the Barents Sea ecosystem. This will be studied by investigating the effects of past changes in climate and fisheries on the Barents Sea ecosystem, by developing indicators of ecosystem resilience, diversity and structure, and by forecasting the possible future states of the Barents Sea ecosystem under particular environmental and fisheries scenarios.

The key questions addressed by the project are:

  • What are the key characteristics of past temporal and spatial variations in fish and benthos communities and how are these related to past climate variability and fishing pressure?
  • How does climate variability and change propagate through the Barents Sea ecosystem and influences species interactions?
  • How can the combined effects of fisheries and climate modify the spatial distribution of plankton, benthos and fish species in the Barents Sea?
  • What determines vulnerability or resilience of the Barents Sea ecosystem and how will these be affected by possible future changes in climate and fisheries regimes?
  • Can we detect early warning signals and can we evaluate management strategies with regards to ecosystem resilience?

The Barents Sea Area

The Barents Sea Area where the BarEcoRe project is taking place. The main ocean currents are indicated, highlighting the position of the Barents Sea as an interface between Atlantic and Arctic systems, and therefore particularly exposed to ocean climate fluctuations and change.

Project structure

To address its objectives, the BarEcoRe project is structured in four work-packages respectively dealing with the implications of global warming and fisheries for community structure and regime shifts (WP1), trophic interactions (WP2), future distributions of fish populations (WP3), and past and future ecosystem resilience (WP4). The Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), which includes independent experts in the relevant fields, advises and supervises the scientific activity. Project dissemination will be discussed and coordinated in association with a Stake Holder Panel (SHP), which will include representatives of relevant institutional bodies.

The BarEcoRe project structure:

The BarEcoRe project structure: The core of the work is conducted within the four workpackages (boxes). The scientific activity of the project is supervised by the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) composed of external scientific experts. The dissemination of the project results is coordinated in association with the Stake Holder Panel (SHP).


Scientific coordination: Benjamin Planque
Operational coordination: Maria Fossheim
WorkPackage 1, Fish and benthos communities, past changes and regime shifts: Edda Johannessen
WorkPackage 2, Climate impact on species interactions: Kathrine Michalsen
WorkPackage 3, Projection of future climate and population distribution: Benjamin Planque
WorkPackage 4, Past and Future ecosystem vulnerability and resilience, early warning signals: Raul Primicerio

About BarEcoRe

  • BarEcoRe: Barents Sea ecosystem resilience under global environmental change
  • A project funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
  • Project periode: June 2010 – April 2013