River and Ecosystem Management

Research

We are currently working on the following research projects:

Effects of arsenic contamination on the ecological status of rivers
Supported by: Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie (LfULG)
Duration: 2017 – 2018

 

Former Projects

Development of an index to assess the effect of the water temperature on benthic invertebrates under climatic change

Supported by: KLIWA (co-operation project “Climate change and consequences for water management”, Federal states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, German Weather Service (DWD))
Duration: 08/2014 – 11/2015

 

 

Development of novel strategies for the optimization and the control of the performance of stream restoration efforts.

Efficiency criteria and optimization strategies for ameliorating the morphology of severely modified watercourses: Definition of targets and actions for hydraulic power generation, shipping, agriculture and municipalities: Development of novel strategies for the optimization and the control of the performance of stream restoration efforts

Funded by: German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA)

Project leader: Prof. Dr. D. Hering, University Duisburg-Essen
Project partners: PD Dr. P. Haase, Senckenberg; Dr. Uwe Koenzen, Planungsbüro Koenzen; Dr. Falko Wagner, Institut für Gewässerökologie und Fischereibiologie Jena (IGF)
duration: 10/2010 – 09/2013

Numerous water courses are recently being restored to implement the EU Water Framework Directive. Most restoration measures aim at the structural amelioration of the poor (hydro-) morphological conditions of the streams and their floodplains. The so far most comprehensive survey on the efficiency of restoration efforts in Central European water courses was performed on behalf of the DBU and the BfN and included 37 restoration sites. Here, the post-restoration assessments revealed only weak effects of the restoration measures on aquatic biota (benthic macrofauna, macrophytes, and fish). Manifold causes may underlie the weak response of the aquatic biota to the restoration efforts. The main factors under consideration are (1) a lack of source populations in the catchment, (2) too high expectations caused by overestimating the actual dispersal capacity of aquatic biota, (3) a still dominant effect of inputs of chemicals and sediments into the watercourses, and (4) a minimum size threshold of the restored sections. The project thus aims to stepwise optimize the design, implementation and the control of the performance of restoration efforts in water courses from both the hydromorphological and the biological (benthic macrofauna, macrophytes, and fish) view point. The following aspects will be dealt with:

  • Identification of environmental parameters that significantly contribute to a positive response of the biota;
  • Testing the predictive capacity and optimization of these environmental parameters in model catchments;
  • Development of a strategy to assess/control the performance of stream restoration efforts. This strategy will be based on the monitoring programs for the Water Framework Directive of the EU.

Requirements for a measurement and evaluation system to detect climate-induced changes in riverine ecosystems

Funded by:          KLIWA (co-operation project “Climate change and consequences for water management”, Federal 
                              states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, German Weather Service (DWD)).

Duration:              05/2012 – 07/2013

Project leaders:  Prof. Dr. Peter Haase, Dr. Andrea Sundermann, Senckenberg
Project partners: Prof. Dr. Daniel Herring, Dr. Sonja Stendera, University of Duisburg-Essen

Summary

The aim of this project is to develop a conceptual framework for a measurement and evaluation system to detect climate-induced changes in riverine ecosystems in southern Germany.

The development of the framework consists of four consecutive steps:

  • Compilation and analysis of existing approaches (national and international) with the aim of developing a first, empirically derived conceptual framework
  • Presentation and discussion of the empirical framework concept at an expert workshop
  • Testing and further development of the conceptual framework based on biotic and abiotic data sets from the KLIWA countries
  • Final rating (possibilities and limitations of the approach)