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.

Related News

press release

Hydropower: the mortality risk for fish at turbines

IGB has presented a procedure for the assessment of fish mortality at hydroelectric power plants. The researchers advise against subsidising small hydropower plants unless adequate fish protection is implemented. 
press release

Citizen science: research project on light pollution seeks support

What effect does street lighting have on insects and what could an environment-friendly lighting design look like? This is what researchers are investigating together with citizen scientists in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hesse and Brandenburg.

Selected publications

October 2020
Global Change Biology. - 26(2020)11, S. 6383-6398

The role of connectivity in the interplay between climate change and the spread of alien fish in a large Mediterranean river

Johannes Radinger; Emili García-Berthou

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.

October 2020
Science. - 370(2020)6513, S. 180

Pragmatic animal welfare is independent of feelings

Robert Arlinghaus; Ian G. Cowx; Brian Key; Ben K. Diggles; Alexander Schwab; Steven J. Cooke; Anne Berit Skiftesvik; Howard I. Browman

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. 

October 2020
Nature Geoscience. - 13(2020), S. 656-658

Homogenization of the terrestrial water cycle

Delphis F. Levia; Irena F. Creed; David M. Hannah; Kazuki Nanko; Elizabeth W. Boyer; Darryl E. Carlyle-Moses; Nick van de Giesen; Domenico Grasso; Andrew J. Guswa; Janice E. Hudson; Sean A. Hudson; Shin'ichi Iida; Robert B. Jackson; Gabriel G. Katul; Tomo'omi Kumagai; Pilar Llorens; Flavio Lopes Ribeiro; Diane E. Pataki; Catherine A. Peters; Daniel Sanchez Carretero; John S. Selker; Doerthe Tetzlaff; Maciej Zalewski and Michael Bruen

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.

Related Projects

PONDERFUL

IGB (project lead Thomas Mehner) is part of a consortium that is running a new Horizon 2020 project ‘PONDERFUL’, led by the University of Vic (Spain). The project’s overarching aim is to develop improved methods for maximising the use of ponds and pondscapes in climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services.
Contact person
Thomas Mehner
Sabine Hilt
Department
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
Start
12/2020
End
11/2024
Topic

Boddenpike

The project studies the ecology, use and socio-economic importance of Rügen pike and develops recommendations for sustainable management
Contact person
Robert Arlinghaus
Department
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
Start
01/2019
End
06/2023
Topic

marEEshift

The project studies the fisheries exploitation of the Western Baltic Cod taking the perspective of resilience and wants to help push the system towards a more desired state.
Contact person
Robert Arlinghaus
Department
(Dept. 4) Biology and Ecology of Fishes
Start
06/2019
End
05/2022
Topic

WANDEL: Water resources as important factors in the energy transition at the local and global level

Water and energy are crucial to sustainable development, both globally and within Germany. WANDEL focuses on the question of whether limited water availability restricts the use of conventional energy systems and thereby accelerates the energy transition, or whether it actually slows the transition down.
Contact person
Sonja Jähnig
Martin Pusch
Department
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
Start
08/2017
End
07/2020
Topic

MadMacs

Mass development of aquatic macrophytes – causes and consequences of macrophyte removal for ecosystem structure, function, and services
Contact person
Jan Köhler
Department
(Dept. 2) Ecosystem Research
(Dept. 6) Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry
Start
02/2019
End
01/2022
Topic

Related Downloads

Outlines | IGB Policy Brief: Strengths and weaknesses of the Water Framework Directive (WFD)

The IGB Policy Brief recommends continued commitment to the objectives of the WFD and improved practical implementation – and offers options for action to policy makers and practitioners.

Kharaa Yeröö River Basin Atlas

The Atlas is written in Mongolian and English language, as a joint activity of IGB and its Mongolian partner IGG. The science based fundamentals of monitoring and research results of MoMo are documented and continuously updated as maps and texts for discussions with stakeholders and decision makers.

M.Sc. Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture – Arrival and Survival Guide

Everything you need to know about the International Master Program in Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture! The program is jointly coordinated by the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the Institute of Inland Fisheries in Potsdam Sacrow.

M.Sc. Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture – Flyer

A quick overview about the International Master Program in Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture. The program is jointly coordinated by the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the Institute of Inland Fisheries in Potsdam Sacrow.

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.

Experts at IGB

Robert Arlinghaus

Research group leader
Working group
Integrative recreational fisheries management

Jörn Gessner

Research group leader
Working group
Reintroduction of the European sturgeon to Germany

Michael Hupfer

Head of Department a.i.
Working group
Biogeochemical processes in sediments and lake management

Martin Pusch

Research group leader
Working group
Functional ecology and management of rivers and lake shores

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