Research Topics Of Aquatic Biodiversity
Three core themes have been identified:
1) Assessment of freshwater biodiversity and predicting changes in biodiversity with respect to land use, climate change and other drivers (state of the art methods and development of new molecular methods we will unravel the true extend of changes in aquatic biodiversity);
2) Relationship between community structure and ecosystem function (experimental approaches ranging from lab microcosms to field experimental platforms and long-term data analyses (monitoring program) will help to explore the relationship between biodiversity and specific ecosystem functions (such as trophic interactions, carbon-, nutrient, energy cycling, atmospheric gas exchange etc.);
3) Adaptation and diversification (a combination of experimental, molecular and theoretical approaches will be used to studying major factors leading to increasing diversity and speciation).
The research focus shall serve as a platform for diverse biodiversity studies formed by several core projects such as BIOFRESH, REFRESH, and TemBi (studying freshwater biodiversity and its relationship to changes in thermal regimes, extreme weather events and water level changes). PB1 core project “Stentor” (exploring the development and ecological traits of endosymbiontic and probably parasitic relationships for organismic adaptation and evolution) provides a start-up for the Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research, an excellent tool to studying the molecular basis for changes in freshwater biodiversity and related ecosystem functions affecting global nutrient and carbon cycles. PB1 has consistently improved its infrastructure during the past years, which now includes several lab facilities and large-scale mesocosms for investigating effects of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem functions in inland waters.