Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress: Tools for the Assessment of Ecosystem Health

BEAST final report
BEAST briefing document on key results
Year 2 progress report
Year 1 progress report

For more relevant publications, visit (category BONUS+ reports)

Begin date 1.1.2009

End date 31.12.2011

Grant: 1 629 342€

The pan-Baltic BEAST project is targeted at developing integrated measures of chemical pollution and tools needed to detect and understand human-induced pressure on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. We will test and validate integrated monitoring and assessment approaches for their applicability in the Baltic Sea, taking carefully into account the specific abiotic and biotic characteristics of the sea area. Using sub-regional assessments we will provide scientifically based recommendations for the implementation of an integrated chemical-biological effects monitoring strategy for the assessment of ecosystem health. This supports ecosystem-based management to safeguard the sustainable use of ecosystem’s goods and services. To establish links between responses related to chemical pollution within the individuals and effects observed at higher biological levels we will generate an integrated “multi-level toolbox” including biomarkers as sensitive diagnostic tools. Capacity building, networking, exchange and intercalibration of methodologies, and training are another integral part of the project. Sixteen partners from all Baltic Sea countries are involved in BEAST; the work consists of field and experimental research using both established and novel methods on 5 Baltic Sea sub-regions so far with limited information on biological effects of hazardous substances. The outcome will be communicated to national and regional stakeholders and co-operation with HELCOM MONAS will be established.


Biological effects, chemical pollution, ecosystem health, biomarkers, integrated assessment

List of Participants and Principal Scientists

Finnish Environment Institute, Finland

Kari Lehtonen (Coordinator)

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Katja Broeg

Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fishery; Institute of Fishery Ecology, Germany

Thomas Lang

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Germany

Rolf Schneider

National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark

Doris Schiedek

Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Sweden

Brita Sundelin

Sea Fisheries Institute, Poland

Henryka Dabrowska

Atlantic Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography AtlantNIRO, Russia

Galina Rodjuk

Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia

Sirje Vilbaste

Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Finland

Pekka Vuorinen

Institute for Applied Ecology Ltd., Germany

Jens Gercken

Institute of Biology, University of Latvia, Latvia

Elmira Boikova

Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University, Lithuania

Janina Baršienė

Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Latvia

Maija Balode

Scientific Research Center for Ecological Safety RAS, Russia

Sergey Kholodkevich

Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Sergey Golubkov

Please visit the BEAST webpage for more information!