Use and management
Freshwaters are used in many ways: as a drinking water supply, for industrial transportation and for recreation. All these functions, also referred to as ecosystem services, can only be ensured if rivers and lakes are in a good ecological state. Since its introduction in 2002, the Water Framework Directive has called for just that. And yet water is a scarce resource in many regions of the world. The growing pressure caused by mining, industry, hydroelectric power production and agriculture affects water quality and the passage of freshwaters. At IGB, we develop concepts for the future-oriented management of freshwater resources for the welfare of humans and nature. We investigate how anthropogenic influences affect freshwaters, and how lakes, flowing waters and wetlands can be used sustainably and revitalised efficiently.
The role of connectivity in the interplay between climate change and the spread of alien fish in a large Mediterranean river
Dams exacerbate the consequences of climate change on river fish: A potential response of river fish to environmental changes is to colonise new habitats. Dams restrict the habitats of fish, but do not necessarily prevent the spread of invasive species, as Johannes Radinger and his team found.
In this Letter to Science the researchers argue that effective application of animal welfare in conservation is also possible if it is based on objective and measurable parameters of animal welfare – without relying on concepts such as consciousness, sentience or pain.
Plant uniformity in highly managed agricultural landscapes has led to increases in flood and drought frequencies and magnitudes, as well as a poorer water quality. The study explores the risk of the homogenization of the terrestrial water cycle.