(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research

In the Department of Ecosystem Research, we investigate the effects of the trophic level, hydromorphology and climate on lake and river ecosystems, as well as their stability and long-term development. We study interactions between biotic ecosystem components (microorganisms, plankton, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and parasites) and their physical and chemical environment as well as the key processes of physical limnology, primary production, evolution, and carbon flux. We employ techniques used in molecular biology and genomics, laboratory and field research; we exploit long-term databases and apply statistical and deterministic models. Our research, integrated into global research on the effects of climate change and biodiversity, provides the basis for developing theoretical concepts.

Contact persons

Jan Köhler

Head of Department (a.i.)
Research group
Photosynthesis and Growth of Phytoplankton and Macrophytes

Department members

Selected publications

July 2021
Nature Climate Change. - 11(2021), 521-529

Climate change drives widespread shifts in lake thermal habitat

Benjamin M. Kraemer; Rachel M. Pilla; R. Iestyn Woolway; Orlane Anneville; Syuhei Ban; William Colom-Montero; Shawn P. Devlin; Martin T. Dokulil; Evelyn E. Gaiser; K. David Hambright; Dag O. Hessen; Scott N. Higgins; Klaus D. Jöhnk; Wendel Keller; Lesley B. Knoll; Peter R. Leavitt; Fabio Lepori; Martin S. Luger; Stephen C. Maberly; Dörthe C. Müller-Navarra; Andrew M. Paterson; Donald C. Pierson; David C. Richardson; Michela Rogora; James A. Rusak; Steven Sadro; Nico Salmaso; Martin Schmid; Eugene A. Silow; Ruben Sommaruga; Julio A. A. Stelzer; Dietmar Straile; Wim Thiery; Maxim A. Timofeyev; Piet Verburg; Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer; Rita Adrian

The authors have quantified the long-term temperature changes in 139 lakes worldwide. They analysed shifts in thermal habitats and found that as lakes warm, species will need to shift to different depths or seasons. Lakes in the tropics are particularly affected.

July 2021
BioScience. - 71(2021)7, 722–740

Viewing emerging human infectious epidemics through the lens of invasion biology

Montserrat Vilà; Alison M. Dunn; Franz Essl; Elena Gómez-Dìaz; Philip E. Hulme; Jonathan M. Jeschke; Martìn A. Núñez; Richard S. Ostfeld; Aníbal Pauchard; Anthony Ricciardi; Belinda Gallardo

A research team has studied the close relationships between infectious diseases and biological invasions. The "One Health" approach considers the health of humans as well as animals, plants and other elements of the environment to prevent pandemics and the spread of invasive alien species.

June 2021
Limnology and Oceanography. - 66(2021)5, 1979-1992

The extent and variability of storm-induced temperature changes in lakes measured with long-term and high-frequency data

Jonathan P. Doubek, Orlane Anneville, Gaël Dur, Aleksandra M. Lewandowska, Vijay P. Patil, James A. Rusak, Nico Salmaso, Christian Torsten Seltmann, Dietmar Straile, Pablo Urrutia-Cordero, Patrick Venail, Rita Adrian, María B. Alfonso, Curtis L. DeGasperi, Elvira de Eyto, Heidrun Feuchtmayr, Evelyn E. Gaiser, Scott F. Girdner, Jennifer L. Graham, Hans-Peter Grossart, Josef Hejzlar, Stéphan Jacquet, Georgiy Kirillin, María E. Llames, Shin-Ichiro S. Matsuzaki, Emily R. Nodine, Maria Cintia Piccolo, Don C. Pierson, Alon Rimmer, Lars G. Rudstam, Steven Sadro, Hilary M. Swain, Stephen J. Thackeray, Wim Thiery, Piet Verburg, Tamar Zohary, Jason D. Stockwell

The authors analyzed 18 long-term high-frequency lake datasets to assess the magnitude of wind- vs. rainstorm-induced changes in epilimnetic temperature. They found small day-to-day epilimnetic temperature decreases in response to strong wind and heavy rain during stratified conditions, but day-to-day temperature change, in the absence of storms, often exceeded storm-induced temperature changes.

June 2021
Molecular Ecology Resources. - 21(2021)5, 1422-1433

Improving the reliability of eDNA data interpretation

Alfred Burian; Quentin Mauvisseau; Mark Bulling; Sami Domisch; Song Qian; Michael Sweet

Molecular survey methods detecting DNA released by target-species into their environment (eDNA) provide cost-effective tools for conservation, yet such eDNA-based methods are prone to errors. The authors synthesized recent advances in data processing tools that increase the reliability of interpretations drawn from eDNA data.

Platzhalter Cover
June 2021
Environmental Reviews. - 29(2021)2, 119-141

Four priority areas to advance invasion science in the face of rapid environmental change

Anthony Ricciardi; Josephine C. Iacarella; David C. Aldridge; Tim M. Blackburn; James T. Carlton; Jane A. Catford; Jaimie T. A. Dick; Philip E. Hulme; Jonathan M. Jeschke; Andrew M. Liebhold; Julie L. Lockwood; Hugh J. MacIsaac; Laura A. Meyerson; Petr Pyšek; David M. Richardson; Gregory M. Ruiz; Daniel Simberloff; Montserrat Vilà; David A. Wardle

Invasion science is the systematic investigation of the causes and consequences of biological invasions. The authors identified four priority areas to advance the field in the Anthropocene: (1) predicting impacts of biological invasions, (2) understanding synergisms of multiple environmental stressors, (3) resolving the taxonomic impediment, and (4) enhancing international biosecurity.

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