Environmental change

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.

Related News

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Corona lockdown makes stars brighter

As a measure against the COVID-19 pandemic, public life was severely restricted for the first time in March 2020. But, did this also alter light pollution – the brightening of the night sky caused by too much artificial light?
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My research: Dunes in the streambed

IGB doctoral student Hanna Schulz tells about streambed sediment in motion, and her research visit to the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
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Freshwaters under climate stress

On the occasion of the global climate strike, we have compiled 10 facts from our studies that underline the need for more climate action. A good read on the way to the demonstration!

Selected publications

February 2021
The ISME journal. - (2021)

Depth-discrete metagenomics reveals the roles of microbes in biogeochemical cycling in the tropical freshwater Lake Tanganyika

Patricia Q. Tran; Samantha C. Bachand; Peter B. McIntyre; Benjamin M. Kraemer; Yvonne Vadeboncoeur; Ismael A. Kimirei; Rashid Tamatamah; Katherine D. McMahon; Karthik Anantharaman

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.

January 2021
Environmental modelling & software. - 133(2020)November, 104852

Performance of one-dimensional hydrodynamic lake models during short-term extreme weather events

J.P. Mesman; A.I. Ayala; R. Adrian; E. De Eyto; M.A. Frassl; S. Goyette; J. Kasparian; M. Perroud; J.A.A. Stelzer; D.C. Pierson; B.W. Ibelings

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.

December 2020
Global Change Biology. - 26(2020)10, S. 5509-5523

The combined effects of climate change and river fragmentation on the distribution of Andean Amazon fishes

Guido A. Herrera‐R ; Thierry Oberdorff ; Elizabeth P. Anderson ; Sébastien Brosse ; Fernando M. Carvajal‐Vallejos ; Renata G. Frederico ; Max Hidalgo ; Céline Jézéquel ; Mabel Maldonado ; Javier A. Maldonado‐Ocampo ; Hernán Ortega ; Johannes Radinger ; Gislene Torrente‐Vilara ; Jansen Zuanon ; Pablo A. Tedesco

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.

December 2020
BioScience. - 70(2020)9, S. 772-793

The complexity of urban eco-evolutionary dynamics

Marina Alberti; Eric P. Palkovacs; Simone Des Roches; Luc De Meester; Kristien I. Brans; Lynn Govaert; Nancy B. Grimm; Nyeema C. Harris; Andrew P. Hendry; Christopher J. Schell; Marta Szulkin , Jason Munshi-South; Mark C. Urban; Brian C. Verrelli

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.

November 2020
Global Change Biology. - 26(2020)3, S. 1196-1211

Urbanization drives cross-taxon declines in abundance and diversity at multiple spatial scales

Elena Piano; Caroline Souffreau; Thomas Merckx; Lisa F. Baardsen; Thierry Backeljau; Dries Bonte; Kristien I. Brans; Marie Cours; Maxime Dahirel; Nicolas Debortoli; Ellen Decaestecker; Katrien De Wolf; Jessie M. T. Engelen; Diego Fontaneto; Andros T. Gianuca; Lynn Govaert; Fabio T. T. Hanashiro; Janet Higuti; Luc Lens; Koen Martens; Hans Matheve; Erik Matthysen; Eveline Pinseel; Rose Sablon; Isa Schön; Robby Stoks; Karine Van Doninck; Hans Van Dyck; Pieter Vanormelingen; Jeroen Van Wichelen; Wim Vyverman; Luc De Meester; Frederik Hendrickx

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.

Related Projects

Water-ForCE

Water-ForCE will bring together experts on water quality and quantity, in policy, research, engineering and service sectors to develop a Roadmap for the water component for the future Copernicus services.
Contact person
Igor Ogashawara
Department
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
Start
01/2021
End
12/2023
Topic

Sulphate in River Spree and Lake Müggelsee

Scientific investigations in mining landscape on the example of the problem "Brown Spree". Long-term development of sulphate concentration in the Spree and Müggelsee ...
Contact person
Tobias Goldhammer
Thomas Rossoll
Department
(Dept. 6) Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry
Start
05/2015
End
12/2020
Topic

AQUACOSM

The first network connecting freshwater and marine large experimental research infrastructures.
Contact person
Jens Christian Nejstgaard
Stella A. Berger
Katharina Makower
Department
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
Start
01/2017
End
12/2020
Topic

CUSCO

Collaborative Project: Coastal Upwelling System in a Changing Ocean – WP3: Role of zooplankton for the trophic transfer efficiency in the upwelling system of the Humboldt Current off Peru
Contact person
Jens Christian Nejstgaard
Stella A. Berger
Department
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
Start
01/2020
End
12/2020
Topic

GLANCE

Climate change affects not only air temperature and precipitation, but also our streams and rivers: water temperature is rising, river flow characteristics are changing, oxygen concentration is sinking, while nutrient concentrations increase. This is not without consequence for the plants and animals living in freshwaters.
Contact person
Sonja Jähnig
Department
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
Start
08/2014
End
04/2020
Topic

Related Events

Experts at IGB

Rita Adrian

Head of Department
Research group
Long-Term and Climate Impact Research of Lake Ecosystems

Stella A. Berger

Research Group Leader
Research group
Experimental Phytoplankton Ecology

Mark Gessner

Head of Department
Research group
Ecosystem Processes

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