How similar are lakes that are more or less strongly connected by rivers and how do algal blooms spread along lake chains? These are the questions investigated by the CONNECT project.

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CONNECT – Connectivity and synchronisation of lake ecosystems in space and time

Monday, 10.09.2018

Light or shadow

Serbian researcher at Lake Stechlin

How do the conditions set in this year's LakeLab experiment, i.e. skyglow and brownification, affect macrophytes and periphytons? This question is investigated by Ivana Trbojević from the University of Belgrade. The Serbian researcher spends a good four weeks at Lake Stechlin to strengthen the LakeLab team.

Ivana Trbojević had already worked on periphyton in her PhD thesis. These algae colonise surfaces under water and can thus also grow on the leaves of underwater plants, the so-called macrophytes. In her project, which she is carrying out together with IGB researcher Sabine Hilt during this year's LakeLab experiment, she is now investigating both the periphyton and the macrophytes. For 4 weeks, cups with macrophytes as well as growth carriers for the periphyton are incubated in five different water depths down to 6 metres in the enclosures of the LakeLab.


Subsequently, the periphyton is scraped off from the growth carriers and the weight of the formed biomass will be measured. In addition, the composition of the periphyton community will be examined via DNA analysis and it will be investigated how much nutrients (phosphorus) the periphyton has absorbed during the four-week incubation period. A nutrient analysis is also carried out for the macrophytes and it will be determined whether the plants have grown during the incubation period. The underlying question is how macrophytes and periphyton react to the changed environmental conditions in the enclosures of the LakeLab: Is their growth inhibited by the brownification of the water with humic substances or is it increased by the skyglow and the resulting increased light at night?



The stay of Ivana Trbojević at Lake Stechlin is financed by the EU project Aquacosm. She learned about the possibility to participate in a LakeLab experiment via Aquacosm at the Sefs Meeting 2017 (Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences) in Olomouc, Czech Republic. There, the two Aquacosm coordinators, the IGB researchers Stella Berger and Jens Nejstgaard, presented the LakeLab experiment planned for 2018.


Text and photos: Martina Bauchrowitz, IGB

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