Lakes and rivers react extremely sensitively to climate change and environmental changes. As such, they act as an early warning system for global ecological change. Our long-term programmes at Lake Stechlin and Lake Müggelsee, as well as on River Spree document the consequences of this change. Data spanning several decades enables us to forecast how freshwaters will develop under certain scenarios. In the LakeLab, our globally unique experimental facility in Lake Stechlin, we simulate the impact that changing environmental conditions (e.g. extreme weather events or the increasing use of artificial lighting) have on lakes and aquatic organisms.
Vice versa, freshwaters also have an impact on climate change. They have the ability to store or release large quantities of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. We investigate which conditions influence these processes and what role is played by rivers, lakes and wetlands in the global carbon cycle.
Depth-discrete metagenomics reveals the roles of microbes in biogeochemical cycling in the tropical freshwater Lake Tanganyika
The authors profiled the microbial community in Lake Tanganyika down to a kilometer deep and investigated their role in biogeochemical cycling. The microbial community in the surface waters was not all that different from a temperate lake, the anoxic water contained high abundances of Archaea (30%) and uncultured candidate phyla with high genomic capacity for nitrogen and sulfur cycling.
Little is known about the accuracy of numerical lake models during short-term events. Three 1D lake models reproduced the overall impacts of storms and heatwaves well. Timing of effects was simulated accurately and there was little consistent bias. Uncertainty in simulations increased during extremes compared to reference periods.
The combined effects of climate change and river fragmentation on the distribution of Andean Amazon fishes
Combining species distribution models and functional traits of Andean Amazon fishes, coupled with dam locations and climatic projections, the authors evaluated the potential impacts of future climate on species ranges, investigated the combined impact of river fragmentation and climate change and tested the relationships between these impacts and species functional traits.
Urbanization is a complex process that impacts both the ecology and evolution of species. The researchers identified five key urban drivers of this change and highlight the direct consequences of urbanization-driven eco-evolutionary change for nature’s contributions to people. They subsequently explored five emerging complexities that need to be tackled in future research.
This comprehensive study analyses the relationship between urbanization and biodiversity across multiple aquatic and terrestrial animal groups and at multiple spatial scales. The study reveals an overall strong negative impact of urbanization on both abundance and species richness within habitat patches. The study highlights the importance of considering multiple spatial scales and taxa.