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.

Selected publications

July 2023
Nature Sustainability. - 6(2023), 578–586

Impact of the Russia–Ukraine armed conflict on water resources and water infrastructure

Oleksandra Shumilova; Klement Tockner; Alexander Sukhodolov; Valentyn Khilchevskyi; Luc De Meester; Sergiy Stepanenko; Ganna Trokhymenko; Juan Antonio Hernández-Agüero; Peter Gleick

The ongoing war in Ukraine is having multiple impacts on the country’s water sector. In addition to the horror of the direct consequences of war, the destruction of water infrastructure also carries long-term consequences and risks for the population, the environment and global food security.  

July 2023
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. - 21(2023)7, S. 333-340

Transience of public attention in conservation science

Ivan Jarić; Ricardo A Correia; Marino Bonaiuto; Barry W Brook; Franck Courchamp; Josh A Firth; Kevin J Gaston; Tina Heger; Jonathan M Jeschke; Richard J Ladle; Yves Meinard; David L Roberts; Kate Sherren; Masashi Soga; Andrea Soriano-Redondo; Diogo Veríssimo; Uri Roll

This article addresses the concept of attention transience applied to conservation, discusses its major drivers and mechanisms, and provides an overview of conservation issues for which this phenomenon is particularly relevant. Attention transience only leaves a brief window of opportunity to focus public awareness and mobilize support for nature conservation.

May 2023
Journal of Environmental Management. - 325(2023), Art. 116442

Short-term effects of macrophyte removal on aquatic biodiversity in rivers and lakes

Benjamin Misteli; Alexandrine Pannard; Eirin Aasland; Sarah Faye Harpenslager; Samuel Motitsoe; Kirstine Thiemer; Stéphanie Llopis; Julie Coetzee; Sabine Hilt; Jan Köhler; Susanne C. Schneider; Christophe Piscart; Gabrielle Thiébaut

Study of the effects of macrophyte removal on phytoplankton, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates at five sites with highly variable characteristics repeating the same Before-After-Control-Impact design to disentangle general from site-specific effects. Macrophyte removal had negative effects on biodiversity, esp. on zooplankton and macroinvertebrates. It had positive effects on phytoplankton.

October 2021
Hydrological Processes. - 35(2021)10, Art. e14377

Isotope hydrology and water sources in a heavily urbanized stream

Christian Marx; Dörthe Tetzlaff; Reinhard Hinkelmann; Chris Soulsby

The authors studied Isotopes in Berlin’s Panke catchment to understand stream flow sources. Groundwater dominated the upper catchment, but ~90% of flow in the lower catchment was treated waste water. High flows were generated from urban drains. The stream has unnatural hydrological and chemical regimes with restoration needed for improved ecology. 

October 2021
Nature Communications. - 12(2021), Art. 5693

Rewetting does not return drained fen peatlands to their old selves

J. Kreyling; F. Tanneberger; F. Jansen; S. van der Linden; C. Aggenbach; V. Blüml, J. Couwenberg; W-J Emsens; H. Joosten; A. Klimkowska; W. Kotowski; L. Kozub; B. Lennartz; Y. Liczner; H. Liu; D. Michaelis; C. Oehmke; K. Parakenings; E. Pleyl; A. Poyda; S. Raabe; M. Röhl; K. Rücker; A. Schneider; J. Schrautzer; C. Schröder; F. Schug; E. Seeber; F. Thiel; S. Thiele; B. Tiemeyer; T. Timmermann; T. Urich; R. van Diggelen; K. Vegelin; E. Verbruggen; M. Wilmking; N. Wrage-Mönnig; L. Wołejko; D. Zak; G. Jurasinski

Rewetted peatlands have the potential to fulfil the restoration goals including those targeting climate change mitigation, water quality protection, and species conservation. However, due to heavy soil changes their restoration cannot be expected in short-term. Data analyser of several hundred natural and degraded peatlands have shown that it might last decades before they become fully recovered.

Related Projects

Contact person
Martin Pusch
Christian Wolter
Sonja Jähnig
Thomas Mehner
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
(Dept. 2) Community and Ecosystem Ecology
(Dept. 3) Plankton and Microbial Ecology
(Dept. 4) Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
(Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology
Start
02/2023
End
04/2026
Topic
Contact person
Mark Gessner
Sabine Hilt
Department
(Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry
(Dept. 2) Community and Ecosystem Ecology
(Dept. 3) Plankton and Microbial Ecology
Start
07/2015
End
06/2024
Topic

Related Downloads

Outlines | IGB Dossier: Small standing water bodies as biodiversity hotspots – particularly valuable, but highly endangered

Small standing waters are overlooked and underestimated because of their small size – yet they account for more than 30 percent of the world's inland water bodies and are of great ecological and social importance. In order to raise awareness of this problem and to point out options for action for policymakers, authorities and the civil society, IGB has published an IGB Dossier on this important type of water body. 

Experts at IGB

Robert Arlinghaus

Research Group Leader
Research group
Integrative Recreational Fisheries Management

Jörn Gessner

Research Group Leader
Research group
Reintroduction of the European Sturgeon to Germany

Michael Hupfer

Research Group Leader
Research group
Biogeochemical Processes in Sediments and Lake Management

Martin Pusch

Programme Area Speaker
Research group
Functional Ecology and Management of Rivers and Lake Shores

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