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

short news

Rainy summer, dry soils

July and August brought heavy rain and flooding in some places. More than enough precipitation to make up for the recent dry years, one might think. But it is not that simple! IGB researchers show that groundwater levels and soil moisture remain below normal.
short news

Long-term binding of phosphorus in lake sediment

Excessive phosphorus loading lead to the accumulation of this nutrient in water bodies. Lake sediments can retain phosphorus. In laboratory tests, an IGB team has investigated the conditions under which this retention is long-term.

Selected publications

September 2021
Global Change Biology. - 27(2021)19, 4615-4629

Earlier winter/spring runoff and snowmelt during warmer winters lead to lower summer chlorophyll-a in north temperate lakes

Allison R. Hrycik; Peter D. F. Isles; Rita Adrian; Matthew Albright,; Linda C. Bacon; Stella A. Berger; Ruchi Bhattacharya; Hans-Peter Grossart; Josef Hejzlar; Amy Lee Hetherington; Lesley B. Knoll; Alo Laas; Cory P. McDonald; Kellie Merrell; Jens C. Nejstgaard; Kirsten Nelson; Peeter Nõges; Andrew M. Paterson; Rachel M. Pilla; Dale M. Robertson; Lars G. Rudstam; James A. Rusak; Steven Sadro; Eugene A. Silow; Jason D. Stockwell; Huaxia Yao; Kiyoko Yokota; Donald C. Pierson

The authors investigated how ongoning changes in winter conditions may have consequences for annual phytoplankton biomass and production. They showed that earlier winter/spring runoff and snowmelt during warmer winters lead to lower summer chlorophyll-a in 41 north temperate lakes in Europe and North America.

July 2021
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. - 25(2021)6, 3635–3652

Quantifying the effects of urban green space on water partitioning and ages using an isotope-based ecohydrological model

Mikael Gillefalk; Dörthe Tetzlaff; Reinhard Hinkelmann; Lena-Marie Kuhlemann; Aaron Smith; Fred Meier; Marco P. Maneta; Chris Soulsby

Urban green space is of great importance for sustainable water management and heat reduction in cities. Using field measurements and a highly advanced ecohydrological model, researchers have investigated how water pathways differ depending on vegetation type. The result: trees potentially provide the strongest cooling effect, while grass promotes more groundwater recharge.

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.

May 2021
Freshwater Biology. - 66(2021)6, 1089-1100

Incomplete recovery of a shallow lake from a natural browning event

Garabet Kazanjian; Soren Brothers; Jan Köhler; Sabine Hilt

The authors investigated the recovery of a small, temperate shallow lake from a strong flooding-induced browning and nutrient loading event. Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and phosphorus remained elevated and affected primary production despite water levels dropping to pre-flood levels indicating consequences of extreme precipitation for lake water quality and aquatic food webs.

Related Projects

Species protection through environmental friendly lighting (AuBe)

Species protection through environmentally friendly lighting Tatort streetlight discovers causes for insect decline. Street lighting can severely impair nocturnal flying insects, as many insects are attracted to the light of the luminaires and withdrawn from their actual habitats. Help us to investigate which insects are affected by street lighting and how environmentally sound lighting solutions can help preserve the insects' habitat.
Contact person
Sibylle Schroer
Franz Hölker
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
Start
06/2019
End
05/2025
Topic

Breathing Inland waters: Germany in the spotlight

Large-scale citizen science study on green-house gas concentration and microbial diversity in German inland waters
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
Start
04/2015
End
01/2016
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. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
Start
05/2015
End
12/2025
Topic

MadMacs

Mass development of aquatic macrophytes – causes and consequences of macrophyte removal for ecosystem structure, function, and services
Contact person
Jan Köhler
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
Start
02/2019
End
01/2022
Topic

Related Events

9. Dec
online
colloquium

Prof. Iran E. Lima Neto

Ecohydrology and phosphorus exchange between lake water and sediments in the Banabuiú River Watershed, NE‐Brazil

Experts at IGB

Rita Adrian

Scientific Staff
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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