GLANCE - Global change effects in river ecosystems
Global change is expected to impact freshwater ecosystems severely, e.g. by prolonged periods of drought, an increasing number of floods, or reduced supply of good quality freshwater. It is thought that streams and rivers are particularly vulnerable to global change and that species inhabiting stream ecosystems are among the most vulnerable species because of the highly complex interactions between the hydrosphere and biosphere. But until now, a rather qualitative understanding of processes prevails and we do not understand how these changes will overall affect the function of rivers.
The overall goal of the project GLANCE is to investigate effects from global change induced flow changes in rivers on benthic invertebrates. The junior researcher group takes different perspectives, both in terms of scale (regional to global) and approach (ecological and autecological). For the latter, GLANCE determines and quantifies ecological traits of invertebrates (e.g. preferences or tolerances) focusing on hydrological and hydraulic conditions and thus relevant to flow change resilience. For the abiotic perspective the potential effects from flow changes are weighed against effects from other stressors and relative importance will be determined. These data are used in predictive models to improve estimation of global change effects. Subsequently these results allow analysis of functional changes in river invertebrate communities, vulnerability analysis, or analyzing effects on assessment results.
It is expected that the findings will, in the long run, contribute to a more effective allocation of funds for river management, e.g. through the design of suitable monitoring schemes, or through improved predictions of success of river rehabilitation measures. Through the agreed cooperation with the German Working Group on water issues (LAWA) and the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), the project seeks a transfer of results to operational water management.
Dr. Sonja Jähnig
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Tel.: +49 30 6392 4085