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TRACES - Project 5

SP5 Biodiversity and Bioindicators II - Inland Freshwater Systems

Subrecent remains of the aquatic microfauna (i.e., ostracods and cladocerans) and –flora (i.e., diatoms) in sediment cores yield an integrated environmental signal that hindcasts past ecosystem functioning. SP5 will work on identical sediment cores and material retrieved by SP2 partners and partly SP1. Also in the same timely resolution, we will further analyse calcite ostracod shells for trace elements and heavy metals to identify historical transformations of hydrological conditions and to estimate anthropogenic pollution loads vs natural variability. Likewise, we will analyse chitinous cladoceran remains for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes respectively to reconstruct eutrophication trends that are highly sensitive to shifts in environmental conditions and land-use changes in the catchment. Contemporary analyses of the physical and chemical water parameters (e.g., salinity, pH, oxygen, chlorophyll a, nutrients, and dissolved carbon) and the extant aquatic microfauna and -flora will serve as modern biodiversity analogue to assess the natural variability and pinpoint the anthropogenic impact. We will weigh our findings against environmental DNA that are extracted from samples in analysed core profiles sequences (collaboration Michael Hofreiter, University Potsdam).