© David Ausserhofer/IGB

Research for the future of our freshwaters

Through innovative research on the structure and functioning of freshwaters, their biodiversity, ecosystem services and responses to global change, we make a relevant contribution to a better understanding of these ecosystems and to sustainable freshwater management.
© David Ausserhofer/IGB

Our programme areas

In three programme areas, we link internationally competitive basic research with applied research for the sustainable use and conservation of inland waters. This integrative and dynamic approach allows us to develop innovative ideas, respond to research questions and impulses from science and society as well as to drive national, European and global research developments.
© Solvin Zankl

Our research groups

The 37 research groups at IGB are organised in five disciplinary departments that enable multi-faceted research in freshwater ecology and inland fisheries. Their work is integrated most prominently within three programme areas that represent overarching research themes.
© Carmen Cillero/3edata

Our infrastructure

IGB maintains large-scale research facilities such as the IGB LakeLab in Lake Stechlin or the River Lab in the Tagliamento River. Our infrastructure also includes fish and invertebrates facilities as well as modern biogeochemistry, stable isotope, microbial and molecular laboratories. In addition, we use and advance a wide range of models and methods such as remote sensing, 3D print-assisted sampling, sensor technology and AI-assisted image analysis.
© Buendia22 (CC)

Our latest scientific highlights

Fish in the Danube: native species threatened by changes in flow regime and rising temperatures | Degradation of dissolved organic matter: molecular diversity and microbes in focus | Microbial diversity in Berlin's streams: study reveals spatio-temporal variability | Towards accurate population modelling: researchers investigate extensions of the logistic growth model

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Selected publications

Diversity and Distributions
January 2024
Diversity and Distributions. - XX(2024)XX, XX

Three hundred years of past and future changes for native fish species in the upper Danube River Basin—Historical flow alterations versus future climate change

Martin Friedrichs-Manthey; Simone D. Langhans; Florian Borgwardt; Thomas Hein; Harald Kling; Philipp Stanzel; Sonja C. Jähnig; Sami Domisch

The authors show that fish have been particularly sensitive to changes in flow regimes in the past, while higher temperatures will pose the greatest threat in the future. The threat assessment will remain at least as high in the future. However, it could probably be mitigated by reconnecting former floodplains and improving river connectivity. 

January 2024
Journal of Applied Ecology. - XX(2024)XX, XX-XX

Perspectives in modelling ecological interaction networks for sustainable ecosystem management

Pierre Quévreux; Ulrich Brose; Núria Galiana; Anton Potapov; Élisa Thébault; Morgane Travers-Trolet; Sabine Wollrab; Franck Jabot

The study provides perspectives on the use of network models to address a variety of applied ecological questions along spatial and temporal dimensions as well as on interactions between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. Through collaborative research, network models could provide important levers for sustainable management. 

January 2024
Nature Communications. - 15(2024), Art. 187

Universal microbial reworking of dissolved organic matter along environmental gradients

Erika C. Freeman; Erik J. S. Emilson; Thorsten Dittmar; Lucas P. P. Braga; Caroline E. Emilson; Tobias Goldhammer; Christine Martineau; Gabriel Singer; Andrew J. Tanentzap

To investigate how dissolved organic matter is degraded in soil and aquatic ecosystems by microorganisms, the authors analyzed its molecular diversity in relation to microbial communities and physicochemical conditions. Changes in DOM composition were consistent across different environments – as degradation progressed, DOM became dominated by universal, hard-to-break-down compounds. 

January 2024
Water Research. - 250(2024), Art. 121065

Environmental DNA, hydrochemistry and stable water isotopes as integrative tracers of urban ecohydrology

Maria Magdalena Warter; Dörthe Tetzlaff; Ann-Marie Ring; Jan Christopher; Hanna L. Kissener; Elisabeth Funke; Sarah Sparmann; Susan Mbedi; Chris Soulsby; Michael T. Monaghan

The authors investigated the variability of planktonic bacteria and benthic diatoms coupled with insights from hydrochemistry and stable water isotopes across four urban streams in Berlin. DNA metabarcoding results shows substantial spatio-temporal variability across urban streams in terms of microbial diversity and richness, with clear links to abiotic factors and nutrient concentrations.

December 2023
Oikos. - XX(2023)xx ; Art. e09824

The shape of density dependence and the relationship between population growth, intraspecific competition and equilibrium population density

Emanuel A. Fronhofer; Lynn Govaert; Mary I. O’Connor; Sebastian J. Schreiber; Florian Altermatt

The authors focused on extensions of the logistic growth model, and how intrinsic rates of increase and equilibrium population densities are not independent, but instead are functions of the same underlying parameters.  They highlight several options for modeling population growth, and provide a mechanistic understanding of how the model parameters of each model relate to one another. 

Monitoring stations

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Last measurement: No data available.
  • Water temperature
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  • Wind speed
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Last measurement: No data available.

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