Marine modelling – Baltic Nest Institute

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Marine modelling – Baltic Nest Institute

Baltic Nest Institute (BNI) is an international research alliance between Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre, The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water ManagementAarhus University and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). BNI was established in 2007 to continue the research conducted in the international research programme MARE (1999-2006).

The Baltic Nest Institute is responsible for the Nest system, a decision support system aimed at facilitating adaptive management of environmental concern in the Baltic Sea. Nest can be used to calculate required actions needed to attain politically agreed targets for the Baltic Sea ecosystem. The main focus of the model is on eutrophication and the flows of nutrients from land to sea. 

Baltic Nest Institute Sweden participates in several national and international projects aiming to understand the environmental problems in the Baltic Sea and show the consequences of different courses of action using marine modelling. Some of these projects are presented below.


Legacy nutrient dynamics in the Baltic Sea catchment

The modeling project “Legacy nutrient dynamics in the Baltic Sea catchment: implications for managing eutrophication” (2020-2022) estimates the magnitude of the legacy storage pools of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Baltic Sea catchment area and their contribution to current and future nutrient loads.



BONUS DESTONY (2018-2020) is one of the BONUS synthesis projects where BNI Sweden participate together with Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)Aarhus University and Leibniz University for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde.

The project will identify virtual decision support tools (DSTs) developed to assist ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea and its drainage basin, and analyze them against the current and anticipated future needs. 


The aim of the EU Horizon 2020 project ClimeFish is to support sustainable fisheries, enable an increase in European aquaculture production, facilitate employment and regional development in the sectors, and develop forecasting and management tools for adapting to climate change. The project simulate the growth of the most important and the less resilient cultured and wild caught fish and shellfish species in Europe during the RCP4.5 and the 8.5 IPCC scenarios. 


BONUS BLUEWEBS (2017-2020) will investigate the development and consequences of novel food webs using innovative data analyses such as big data analytics, cutting edge trait-based ecology and ecological network analysis. The project will provide tools for ecosystem-based management, such as indicators for Marine Strategy Framework Directive descriptors and Bayesian Network based decision support systems. Stockholm University participates in the project together with partners from Finland, Germany, Poland and Latvia.


This project studied both the supply and demand of marine ecosystem services across the entire Baltic Sea region in a spatially and temporally detailed manner. The project ran 2015-2018 and included participants from Finland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.


Within the BONUS project BLUEPRINT (2014-2018) the model BALTSEM (BAltic Sea Long-Term large Scale Eutrophication Model) was further developed to include bacterial processes. The project combined field studies, experiments, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics and modeling.



BONUS COCOA (2014-2017) is an abbrevation for Nutrient cocktail in coastal zones of the Baltic Sea – improving understanding of the transformation and retention of nutrients and organic matter in the coastal zone. BNI Sweden participated in the project with the main purpose to create a database containing basic information of all the Baltic Sea coastal areas and contribute to quantification of the filter function based on empirical data, measurements and models.

Recent news

  • Jonas Hentati-Sundberg Guillemots of the Baltic: Linking the seabed and the sky 2020-09-23 On the island of Stora Karlsö up to 100 000 seabirds nest. In a new study a group of curious young researchers from three different universities show how guillemots fuel northern Europe's largest colony of house martins.
  • Information on useful tools collected in new database 2020-07-03 A new database collects information about available decision support tools, developed to assist ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea. There is also information on how well the tools meet important performance criteria.
  • Foto: Bengt Ekberg/Azote. Researcher position in large-scale watershed nutrient dynamics 2019-11-29 Baltic Sea Centre is announcing a new position. We are looking for a researcher with a genuine interest in large scale nutrient budgets and links to food production patterns.
  • Web survey about Decision Support Tools 2019-03-18 Do you have experience of Decision Support Tools? Or do you need tools to support your decision making when it comes to the Baltic Sea? Please help us out by answering the BONUS DESTONY web survey!
  • Foto: Bengt Ekberg/Azote We don’t know enough to fix the Baltic Sea with geo-engineering 2018-02-27 Geo-engineering measures have been proposed to mitigate the internal load of phosphorus and speed recovery of the Baltic Sea. But there are still uncertainties about the fluxes and dynamics of phosphorus and their contribution to eutrophication, which was discussed at the HELCOM-EUSBSR workshop where the Baltic Sea Centre participated.
  • 3rd BONUS Symposium - Sustainable Ecosystem Governance 2017-12-20 The Symposium "Sustainable ecosystem governance under changing climate and land use in the Baltic Sea region" takes place on 14-16 March 2018 in Gdansk, Poland.
  • Vinterdag på Östersjön Marine Modelling Group - a new resource for the University 2017-12-19 The Marine Modelling Group (MMG) is now taking form at the Baltic Sea Centre with the explicit aim of creating a resource and focal point for marine modelling at the University! During 2017's final Baltic Seminar, researchers from different departments were invited to learn more about collaborative alternatives within the MMG.
  • BNI research key in special report 2016-04-13 The new audit report on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region builds on research by key experts and institutions around the Baltic, including the Baltic Nest Institute.
  • Regime shifts in the Northern Benguela ecosystem 2016-03-14 A new article written by BNI researcher Maciej T. Tomczak and Johanna J. Heymans from the Scottish Marine Institute explains how increased fishing and climate drivers during the last 50 years have led to regime shifts, with reorganized ecosystem structure and changes in the main demersal species.
  • BONUS pilot workshop on scenarios 2016-01-28 The objective of the workshop is to take the first steps to explore and develop harmonized storylines for future developments of multiple regional drivers and pressures that affect the Baltic Sea and that can be associated with readily available global climate and socioeconomic scenarios (RCPs and SSPs [1]).

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More information about BNI

Baltic Nest Institute Sweden
Stockholms University Baltic Sea Centre

Contact at BNI Sweden:
Bo Gustafsson,
+46 8 674 7593

Baltic Nest Institute Denmark
Aarhus University

Contact at BNI Denmark:
Jacob Carstensen,
+45 871 58 596

Berit Hasler,
+45 871 58 637

Baltic Nest Institute Finland
Finnish Environment Institute

Contact at BNI Finland:
Vivi Fleming-Lehtinen,
+358 295 251 879

The Nest System