Multiple Stressors & Pollutants

Freshwaters are used intensively by humans, meaning that they are exposed to a number of stressors. We explore the complex interrelations and impacts of the different stressors: How do nutrients and contaminants enter our surface waters, which factors play a central role in this process, and where are rivers and lakes in a particularly poor state? Nutrient inputs of nitrogen and phosphate, for example, may affect water quality, leading to algal blooms. It is often impossible to completely remove pharmaceuticals and biocides during wastewater treatment. They then end up in rivers and lakes, where they may affect the hormonal metabolism of fish and amphibians. Mining may lead to the contamination of adjacent freshwaters with potash and sulphate. Land use change, urbanisation, water control structures and the increasing use of artificial lighting at night (light pollution) exert additional pressure on our freshwaters. In our research, we acknowledge that use by humans is an important part of reality – only then can future-oriented solutions be developed.

Related News

short news

Take off: Remote Sensing of Inland Waters

An inter-institute measuring campaign for the remote sensing of various inland waters in Saxony-Anhalt shall provide new information about this type of data collection.
press release

Night sky often brighter than expected

Earlier studies focused mainly on the night sky directly over our heads. Using a simple measurement method, researchers can now demonstrate the distribution of light pollution over the entire sky.

Related Projects


Skyglow, the diffuse illumination of the night sky by artificial light, has never before been experienced during evolutionary history. Together with another feature of global change – the brownification of lakes caused by humic substances – skyglow disrupts the current light conditions in lake ecosystems. We will elucidate the ecological consequences of these phenomena and the mechanisms underlying them.
Contact person
Mark Gessner
Franz Hölker
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
(Dept. 5) Ecophysiology and Aquaculture

Factors controlling the mobilization of organic matter,

The main objective of this project is to identify the key-factors of organic matter turnover in inundated peatlands. Based on our findings we might improve our predictions regrading the restoration of degraded peatlands.
Contact person
Hendrik Reuter
Dominik Zak
(Dept. 6) Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry


Understanding the responses of carbon quality and quantity on carbon turn-over and  C assimilation in the microbial food web.
Contact person
Katrin Premke
Jenny Fabian
(Dept. 6) Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry

Related Downloads

Urban Water Interfaces (UWI) Research Aligned In Common Topics

Current research carried out by doctoral students within the interdisciplinary research training group "Urban Water Interfaces" (UWI), a joint initiative of TUB and IGB.

Loss of the Night

Transdisciplinary Research on Light Pollution


City, country, river: modelling and managing nutrient pollution in lakes and rivers

Experts at IGB

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