The XWEBS approach foresees to take stock and synthesize the wealth of new information and
significant data mining and integration already achieved by the relevant BONUS Art. 185 projects, and to thus “reap the harvest” of these efforts. Outputs from BONUS+ and of course also from outside BONUS, both in the Baltic, and on the EU and global level will be considered. We will use the outputs from the completed BONUS Art. 185 projects, and tightly interact with the ongoing BONUS food web project BLUEWEBS, to synthesize Baltic food web knowledge and its application in ecosystem and resource management policies along the following four components:
(i) Dynamics and functioning of Baltic food webs.
This includes understanding of drivers and pressures affecting the food webs, including the role of non-indigenous species, and structural and functional changes of Baltic Sea food webs under climate and other anthropogenic drivers. Spatial as well as temporal dynamics are addressed – what has changed until today, which novel states are expected for the future, and how will this affect the provision of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., food provision, nutrient cycling, recreational value).
(ii) Knowledge gaps and visions for future research on Baltic food webs. This includes the identification of basic research needs related to food web structure and functioning as well as responses to anthropogenic pressures. Also, novel methods and tools are addressed as part of the vision for the Baltic food web research of the future.
(iii) Knowledge integration and transformation, including the review of food web indicators and existing food web models in the Baltic Sea. The aim is to identify those models potentially suited for the validation of the use of indicators and their threshold values, as a contribution to MSFD Descriptor 4 and implementation of the EU CFP.
(iv) Knowledge transfer. This includes a review on how food web knowledge is transferred from science to management covering the entire range of activities from monitoring to regional management decisions, and how both the utility and transfer of the information could be improved to move towards sustainable use of the Baltic Sea ecosystem, in line with the key policies (e.g., Baltic Sea Action Plan, EU MSFD, EU CFP).”