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Experiments

Mixed plankton sample from Lake Stechlin.
Mixed plankton sample from Lake Stechlin.

The environmental conditions in the enclosures of the LakeLab can be controlled. This makes it possible to simulate conditions in experiments that are expected to arise in lakes in response to future climate change. The researchers can then assess how key components of the plankton – including phyto-, bacterio- and and zooplankton – are affected, and to what extent the species composition of communities, trophic relationships and biogeochemical cycles are altered.

Experiment 2015

According to current climate projections, the frequency of extreme weather events is expected to increase in the next few decades. Therefore, an experiment at the LakeLab conducted during summer 2015 will assess the impact on lakes caused by extreme events such as heavy rainfall and summer storms. Extensive precipitation is expected to leach dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrients such as phosphorus from the soils in the catchment and thus increase concentrations in the lake water. How will this affect the organisms in a lake? And what happens if the lake water is mixed a few weeks later by a storm? In this year's experiment, this combination of three stress factors will be simulated by first increasing the concentrations of DOC and nutrients and later mixing the water in half the enclosures of the LakeLab.

The LakeLab experiment 2015 is supported by:

  • the German Research Council (DFG) by providing funds to operate the LakeLab as a core facility
  • the European Commission as part of the project «MARS – Managing Aquatic Ecosystems and Water Resources under Multiple Stress»
  • the Leibniz Association through the projects «ILES – Illuminating Lake Ecosystems», «Mycolink – Linking Aquatic Fungal Diversity to Ecosystem Function » and the «International Leibniz Graduate School – Aqualink»
  • the «International Fellowship Program in Freshwater Science» of IGB.