Multiple stressors and pollutants

Freshwaters are used intensively by humans, meaning that they are exposed to a number of stressors. We explore the complex interrelations and impacts of the different stressors: How do nutrients and contaminants enter our surface waters, which factors play a central role in this process, and where are rivers and lakes in a particularly poor state? Nutrient inputs of nitrogen and phosphate, for example, may affect water quality, leading to algal blooms. It is often impossible to completely remove pharmaceuticals and biocides during wastewater treatment. They then end up in rivers and lakes, where they may affect the hormonal metabolism of fish and amphibians. Mining may lead to the contamination of adjacent freshwaters with potash and sulphate. Land use change, urbanisation, water control structures and the increasing use of artificial lighting at night (light pollution) exert additional pressure on our freshwaters. In our research, we acknowledge that use by humans is an important part of reality – only then can future-oriented solutions be developed.

Related News

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

June 2021
Conservation Physiology. - 9(2021)1, coaa124

Misbalance of thyroid hormones after two weeks of exposure to artificial light at night in Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis

Franziska Kupprat; Werner Kloas; Angela Krüger; Claudia Schmalsch; Franz Hölker

In a lab study it was tested if light pollution affects thyroid hormones in Eurasian perch. The results show first signs of endocrine disruption in thyroid metabolism after a relatively short exposure of two weeks under high-intensity streetlight conditions. Misbalanced thyroidal status can have serious implications for metabolic rates as well as developmental and reproductive processes.

June 2021
Environmental Science and Technology. - 55(2021), 5620-5628

The role of behavioral ecotoxicology in environmental protection

Alex T. Ford; Marlene Ågerstrand; Bryan W. Brooks; Joel Allen; Michael G. Bertram; Tomas Brodin; ZhiChao Dang; Sabine Duquesne; René Sahm; Frauke Hoffmann; Henner Hollert; Stefanie Jacob; Nils Klüver; James M. Lazorchak; Mariana Ledesma; Steven D. Melvin; Silvia Mohr; Stephanie Padilla; Gregory G. Pyle; Stefan Scholz; Minna Saaristo; Els Smit; Jeffery A. Steevens; Sanne van den Berg; Werner Kloas; Bob B.M. Wong; Michael Ziegler; Gerd Maack

Many contaminants affect organismal behavior and subsequent ecological outcomes. To improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities for behavioral ecotoxicology within regulatory toxicology/risk assessment, the authors formulated perspectives and recommendations, which promise to serve as a roadmap to advance interfaces among basic and translational sciences, and regulatory practices.

January 2021
Nature Ecology & Evolution. - 4(2020), S. 318–319

Lunar illuminated fraction is a poor proxy for moonlight exposure

Christopher C. M. Kyba; Jeff Conrad and Tom Shatwell

The authors suggest that lunar illuminated fraction should, in general, never be used in biological studies, as alternative variables such as horizontal illuminance better represent moonlight exposure, and therefore offer a greater chance of detecting the effects of moonlight. They provide a brief explanation of how moonlight varies with season and time of night.

January 2021
Environmental Science : Nano. - 7(2020)7, S. 2130-2139

Nanosilver impacts on aquatic microbial decomposers and litter decomposition assessed as pollution-induced community tolerance (PICT)

Daniela Batista; Ahmed Tlili; Mark O. Gessner; Cláudia Pascoalab and Fernanda Cássio

The authors have shown that shifts in microbial communities triggered by chronic exposure to low concentrations of silver nanoparticles increases the community tolerance to silver, as described in the pollution-induced community tolerance (PICT) concept, with consequences for leaf litter decomposition, a pivotal process in forest streams. 

January 2021
Environmental Pollution. - 264(2020), art. 114793

Uptake and physiological effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and its commercial formulation Confidor® in a widespread freshwater oligochaete

Valeska Contardo-Jara; Mark O.Gessner

The neonicotinoid imidacloprid (IMI) is one of the most extensively applied neuro-active insecticides worldwide and continues to enter surface waters in many countries despite a recent ban for outdoor use in the EU. The study assessed the effects of pure IMI and its commercial formulation Confidor® on the aquatic oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus, a key species in freshwater sediments.

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

ACTION

ACTION transforms the way we do citizen science today.
Contact person
Franz Hölker
Kat Austen
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
Start
02/2019
End
01/2022
Topic

Factors controlling the mobilization of organic matter,

The main objective of this project is to identify the key-factors of organic matter turnover in inundated peatlands. Based on our findings we might improve our predictions regrading the restoration of degraded peatlands.
Contact person
Dominik Zak
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
Start
04/2014
End
08/2017
Topic

TocAqua

Understanding the responses of carbon quality and quantity on carbon turn-over and  C assimilation in the microbial food web.
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
Start
09/2013
End
06/2017
Topic

Urban Water Interfaces

DFG Research training group  
Contact person
Mark Gessner
Sabine Hilt
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
(Dept. 3) Experimental Limnology
Start
07/2015
End
06/2024
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

Related Downloads

Urban Water Interfaces (UWI) Research Aligned In Common Topics

Current research carried out by doctoral students within the interdisciplinary research training group "Urban Water Interfaces" (UWI), a joint initiative of TUB and IGB.

Loss of the Night

Transdisciplinary Research on Light Pollution

MONERIS

City, country, river: modelling and managing nutrient pollution in lakes and rivers

Experts at IGB

Tobias Goldhammer

Research Domain Speaker
Research group
Nutrient Cycles and Chemical Analytics

Franz Hölker

Research Group Leader
Research group
Light Pollution and Ecophysiology

Ilka Lutz

Research Group Leader
Research group
Effects of Endocrine Active Substances

Thomas Meinelt

Research Group Leader
Research group
Fish Pathology, Ecotoxicology and Stress Ecology

Matthias Stöck

Research Group Leader
Research group
Evolutionary Biology and Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Fish

Markus Venohr

Research Group Leader
Research group
River System Modelling

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