Multilevel response to stressor increase and release in stream ecosystems

Rivers and streams are centers of biodiversity and vital to humans. Human activities impair water bodies and their communities in many ways, and a wide range of measures are in place to reverse these stressors. However, the effects of degradation and recovery are only partially understood, especially when many stressors act simultaneously. RESIST investigates the underlying mechanisms by combining field studies and mesocosm experiments with statistical and mechanistic modelling and synthesis.

This broad range of methods is used to investigate the effects of multiple stressors on all components of the stream food web (from viruses to fish) and on four ecosystem functions. The focus of the studies is on the effects of three globally relevant stressors: temperature increase, salinization, and hydromorphological degradation, and the combination of these forms of stress. The goal is to understand and predict the effects of degradation and recovery on stream biodiversity and functions.

In addition to 15 researchers from the UDE, teams from the universities of Bochum, Cologne, Kiel and Koblenz-Landau as well as the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Berlin) and the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research Halle-Leipzig are involved in the CRC RESIST.

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