Coupling the Sub-Systems — the Baltic Sea as a Case Study

  • B.-O. Jansson
  • W. Wilmot
  • F. Wulff
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


Even if we adopt two commonly used criteria for defining a subsystem, namely, stronger interactions within the system than over the boundaries (Webster, 1979) and physically recognized boundaries (Rowe, 1961) we can differentiate two types of subsystems, the geographical, for example the coastal region, and the ecological such as the pelagic zone. This does not exclude the possibility of treating the coastal region as an ecological system but usually the region would include several clear-cut ecosystems more or less highly connected. Being a higher organizational level the regions have a slower dynamic response and determine the climate for the enclosed ecosystems. The urgent need for better knowledge of the processes and flows of the biological systems (Platt et al., 1981) has been exemplified by stressing the importance of primary production, respiration, excretion feeding, etc. This is certainly of importance but there is an equal lack of understanding of the degree of connection between the phytal, pelagic and softbottom subsystems or between the coastal and offshore areas. We should therefore not concentrate our efforts on one organizational level alone but through continuously climbing up and down the hierarchical ladder bring our knowledge towards an increasing understanding of the total system’s behaviour.


Mytilus Edulis Spring Bloom Coastal Upwelling Mesoscale Eddy Estuarine Circulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • B.-O. Jansson
    • 1
  • W. Wilmot
    • 1
  • F. Wulff
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Ecology, The Askö LaboratoryUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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