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

focus

Diminishing habitats

Our planet is experiencing a dramatic decline in biodiversity. Freshwater plants and animals are particularly at risk. IGB scientists reveal where and why freshwater habitats are declining.

Selected publications

April 2022
Limnology and Oceanography. - 67(2022)S1, S101-S120

Antecedent lake conditions shape resistance and resilience of a shallow lake ecosystem following extreme wind storms

Michael W. Thayne; Benjamin M. Kraemer; Jorrit P. Mesman; Bastiaan W. Ibelings; Rita Adrian

The goal was to develop a systematic, standardized and quantitative methodology for the synthesis of resistance and resilience relative to short-term lake and extreme storm conditions. Resistance and resilience following extreme storms are primarily shaped by antecedent turbidity and thermal conditions. Increased storm intensity and duration diminish resistance and resilience of the lake.

 

March 2022
Science of the Total Environment. - 814(2022), Art. 151925

Cross-continental importance of CH4 emissions from dry inland-waters

José R. Paranaíba; Ralf Aben; Nathan Barros; Gabrielle Quadra; Annika Linkhorst; André M. Amado; Soren Brothers; Núria Catalán; Jason Condon; Colin M. Finlayson; Hans-Peter Grossart; Julia Howitt; Ernandes S. Oliveira Junior; Philipp S. Keller; Matthias Koschorreck; Alo Laaso; Catherine Leigh; Rafael Marcé; Raquel Mendonça; Claumir C. Muniz; Biel Obrador; Gabriela Onandia; Diego Raymundo; Florian Reverey; Fábio Roland; Eva-Ingrid Rõõmo; Sebastian Sobek; Daniel von Schiller; Haijun Wang; Sarian Kosten

Despite significant progress in quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from dry inland waters, little is known about methane (CH4). The authors determined CH4 emissions from dry sediments across continents and found that the CH4 contribution ranged from 10 to 21% of the equivalent CO2 emissions. Therefore, CH4 emissions from dry inland waters should be considered for the global carbon cycle.

February 2022
Journal of Applied Ecology. - 59(2022)1, 165-175

Warming alters juvenile carp effects on macrophytes resulting in a shift to turbid conditions in freshwater mesocosms

Peiyu Zhang; Huan Zhang; Huan Wang; Sabine Hilt; Chao Li; Chen Yu; Min Zhang; Jun Xu

The authors tested the single and combined effects of warmer water (+4.5°C) and benthivorous juvenile common carp on aquatic macrophytes in 24 mesocosms (2500 L). Our study provides evidence for a regime shift from clear-water conditions dominated by submerged or floating-leaved macrophytes to a turbid state triggered by warming impacts on benthivorous fish rather than on macrophytes.

February 2022
Communications Biology. - 5(2022), Art. 57

Climate-induced forest dieback drives compositional changes in insect communities that are more pronounced for rare species

Lucas Sire; Paul Schmidt Yáñez; Cai Wang; Annie Bézier; Béatrice Courtial; Jérémy Cours; Diego Fontaneto; Laurent Larrieu; Christophe Bouget; Simon Thorn; Jörg Müller; Douglas W. Yu; Michael T. Monaghan; Elisabeth A. Herniou; Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde

Insects declines are now recognised as a consequence of global change. The authors set out to determine the role of drought-induced forest decline in these changes. Using field samples in the Pyrenees and DNA-metabarcoding to determine the species that occur there, they found no loss of species richness in forests experiencing tree loss, but uncovered large differences in the insect communities.

January 2022
Science of the Total Environment. - 787(2021), Art. 147535

Marine algae facilitate transfer of microplastics and associated pollutants into food webs

Xiangyu Yang; Hui Wang; Lu Zhang; Lingwei Kong; Yi Chen; Qiang He; Ling Li; Hans-Peter Grossart; Feng Ju

In this conceptual paper, the authors argue that micro- and macro-algae represent an underappreciated, yet, important pathway for transporting microplastics and associated pollutants via marine food webs to humans, facilitating potential invasion of pathogens into the human body. For the assessment of human health risks, interactions between microplastics and algae need to be explored.

Related Projects

AlienScenarios

AlienScenarios will evaluate the range of plausible futures of biological invasions for the 21st century at different spatial scales and for a range of taxonomic groups.
Contact person
Jonathan Jeschke
Department
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
05/2019
End
04/2022
Topic

InvasiBES

InvasiBES aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted impacts of IAS on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Contact person
Jonathan Jeschke
Department
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
04/2019
End
03/2022
Topic

PONDERFUL

IGB (project lead Thomas Mehner) is part of a consortium that is running a new Horizon 2020 project ‘PONDERFUL’, led by the University of Vic (Spain). The project’s overarching aim is to develop improved methods for maximising the use of ponds and pondscapes in climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services.
Contact person
Thomas Mehner
Sabine Hilt
Pieter Lemmens
Department
(Dept. 2) Community and Ecosystem Ecology
(Dept. 4) Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
12/2020
End
11/2024
Topic

Long-term effects of invasive species in novel communities (InDyNet)

Invasion biology has addressed or even solved several key questions about biological invasions, but the central issue of long-term effects of invasive species has remained critically unexplored. Several case studies exist about long-term population dynamics of invasive species and their impacts, but a general synthesis or understanding is currently lacking. This knowledge gap is critical, as long-term shifts in invader population densities and traits are likely and may have large consequences of ecological and economic interest. This project aims to narrow the knowledge gap.
Contact person
Jonathan Jeschke
Florian Ruland
Department
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
01/2015
End
12/2018
Topic

INAS

In this project, we will develop a prototype for an argumentation machine that supports users in and during the argumentation process in a scientific context. The goal is to enable for example fresh PhD students to develop and refine their own research hypotheses in the research field of invasion biology by referring them to the relevant scientific terminology and respective publications.
Contact person
Tina Heger
Department
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
09/2021
End
08/2024
Topic

Experts at IGB

Rita Adrian

Head of Department (Emeritus)
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

Share page