Project phases and realisation

In the DE-COMB project we will focus on the invasive bloom-forming ctenophore as perturbation and the source of DOM for the natural bacterial community of the invaded coastal marine ecosystem. We will apply an integrated interdisciplinary to tackle this problem – from the molecular to the ecosystem scale.


First, we will investigate the process of microbially-mediated ctenophore-OM degradation by applying a set of state-of-the-art techniques to analyse the ctenophore-OM composition at individual compound level and cutting edge-omics techniques for characterizing the metabolic network operated by the ctenophore-OM degrading bacterial consortia.

Next, we will use the latest molecular biology approaches to biochemically characterize key bacterial enzymes involved in the degradation of ctenophore detritus. This will allow us to determine the remineralization rates of specific ctenophore-OM compounds and to better understand the implications for the carbon and nitrogen cycle in the ocean.

Furthermore, we will evaluate the effect of different bloom-forming gelatinous zooplankton taxa on the ambient microbial community. We will also study the microbial succession after the decay of the jellyfish bloom. This will help us to better understand the consequences of the decay of jellyfish blooms for the specific ecosystem.

Finally, the relationships between all involved processes and players will be established using physical model and extended to the physical-biogeochemical model to perform case studies in realistic spatial and temporal context. Our modelling system will form a solid base for further development into a prognostic system capable of forecasting the system response to anthropogenic and natural perturbations in the coastal marine ecosystems of the future.

Project’s research objectives will be achieved through specific tasks defined within the interconnected six work packages.