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Johannes Graupner

IGB Academy: Underwater Plants under Climate Change

Workshop brings together research and practice
What are the effects of climate change on underwater plants in German inland waters? During an IGB Academy, representatives from research and practice met from April 4 to 6, 2022, to exchange experiences. With impulse speeches and working groups, the participants gained an overview of the current state of knowledge and collected open questions from the perspective of science and practice.

From the perspective of science and practice, participants discussed the effects of climate change on submerged aquatic plants. | Photo: IGB

For example, it was discussed whether macrophyte monitoring in the context of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) would also have to be adapted in the course of progressing climate change — and whether the need for management measures, both for the restoration of disturbed stocks and use problems, will change as a result of mass developments of aquatic plants.

Everyone agreed that climate change is not imminent, but is already ongoing — which is why new knowledge on the effects on submerged macrophytes is urgently needed. Both the declines in stonewort algae populations observed in recent years in lime-rich lakes, the potential spread of heat-loving species, and due mass developments of submerged plants are of interest to researchers and practitioners alike. For a better testing of hypotheses on climate change impacts on macrophytes in German inland waters, it would be particularly helpful to pool and evaluate raw data from existing WFD monitoring activities from different German states (Bundesländer). 

The workshop results will now be used to include findings achieved in research into practice - and to integrate questions from practice into research. In two years, the participants will meet again to discuss, inter alia, the complex topic of possible effects of altered fish communities on underwater plants.

Contact person

Sabine Hilt

Research Group Leader
Research group
Aquatic-Terrestrial Coupling and Regime Shifts

Jan Köhler

Head of Department (a.i.)
Research group
Photosynthesis and Growth of Phytoplankton and Macrophytes

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