Photosynthesis and growth of phytoplankton and macrophytes

Research group of Jan Köhler

Phytoplankton dynamics

We study the long-term effects of changing nutrient loading and climate on growth, production and losses of suspended algae (“phytoplankton”). These studies are based on our long-term monitoring programs for the polymictic, flushed lake Müggelsee since 1977 and the inflowing lowland river Spree since 1987. The main cooperator is Tom Shatwell; Katrin Preuß analyses the phytoplankton structure and Barbara Stein the pigment concentrations. At a much shorter time-scale, we study the effects of wind-induced mixing on phytoplankton growth and production. Here we combine lab and field experiments, recently in the large, shallow lake Tai near Shanghai (> SIGN project).

Interactions between phytoplankton, periphyton and macrophytes

In shallow lakes and lowland rivers, primary production is supplied by phytoplankton, sessile algae or aquatic vegetation. We analyse the interactions between these groups and reasons and ecological consequences of shifts between them. We contribute to sustainable management of these ecosystems by assessing long-term effects of common measures like nutrient retention, shading, or mowing. (in cooperation with Sabine Hilt)

Group members

Jan Köhler

Research group leader
Working group
Photosynthesis and growth of phytoplankton and macrophytes

Sarah Faye Harpenslager

Working group
Aquatic-terrestrial coupling and regime shifts
Photosynthesis and growth of phytoplankton and macrophytes

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