Aquatic Ecosystem Services and Sustainability

Freshwater habitats and wetlands are among the most important ecosystems on Earth because they provide important ecosystem services to our societies. These include, for example, drinking water supply, flood prevention, inland fisheries, transport and recreation. The importance of inland waters for humans should lead to their protection. But indeed, intensive use and the fact that many wetlands are linked to fertile soils put a high pressure on many freshwater ecosystems.

In the programme area “Aquatic Ecosystem Services and Sustainability”, IGB is investigating ecosystem services of freshwater habitats and how they can be managed and restored. Important goals are to understand the mechanisms providing resilience to freshwater ecosystems and to elaborate nature-based solutions that support the multiple functions of freshwaters. Production, regulating and cultural services of freshwater ecosystems, the processes that support them, and their threats will be studied. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture are an important dimension of this programme area.


Martin Pusch and Markus Venohr

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