Although freshwaters cover less than one per cent of the earth’s surface, they are some of the most species-rich habitats on our planet – so far at any rate. After all, rivers and lakes are experiencing a rapid decline in biological diversity. And yet it is still unclear what this loss means for our well-being in the long term. One important objective of our research is therefore to identify measures that enable us to protect the biodiversity of our freshwaters as effectively as possible. We investigate the causes, draw up forecasts relating to changes, and pool our expertise in biodiversity research and in knowledge-based environmental protection. Collaborating with international partners, we also collect global data on biodiversity in freshwaters, creating a unique foundation to ensure their protection.
The authors used unusual Citizen Science data from several decades to show that the American mink has decimated the native eider duck in the Brokey archipelago by about 60 %. In another Icelandic landscape, the return of the native Arctic fox had no discernible impact on the eider population - presumably due to the common evolutionary history in which the eiders have developed defence strategies.
Until now, the toxicity assessment of microplastics in the environment relied on the model organism Daphnia magna for evaluating potential hazards to aquatic invertebrates. However, other Daphnia species are primarily found in Northern Hemisphere lakes, most notably Daphnia longispina. The current study reveals that Daphnia longispina can be more sensitive to microplastics than Daphnia magna.
Patterns and drivers of climatic niche dynamics during biological invasions of island-endemic amphibians, reptiles, and birds
Looking at insular amphibians, reptiles and birds across the world, the authors investigated mismatches between native and non-native climatic niches and how these mismatches can be explained. The results show that climatic mismatches are common for non-native birds and reptiles, but rare for amphibians, and that several factors are significantly related to these mismatches.
The comprehensive study shows that between 1968 and 2010, biodiversity in river systems in 22 European countries initially recovered due to improved water quality. Since 2010, however, biodiversity has stagnated; many river systems have not fully recovered. The researchers therefore urgently recommend additional measures to further promote the recovery of biodiversity in inland waters.
Phytoplankton Producer Species and Transformation of Released Compounds over Time Define Bacterial Communities following Phytoplankton Dissolved Organic Matter Pulses
Bacterial responses to phytoplankton exudates (DOMp) may be caused by different DOMp compositions. Thereby, the bacterial community leads to a succession of DOMp from highly to less bioavailable, reflected by the temporal presence of specific bacterial phylotypes. The exploitation of species-specific highly bioavailable compounds, results in a more similar remaining DOMp.