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Synergistic effects on future aquatic ecosystems

Aquatic ecosystems will in the future face simultaneous threats from several environmental drivers such as changes in climate and watercolour (“brownification”). These threats will not be independent, but will act in concert leading to unpredictable, non-intuitive and hitherto unknown synergistic effects on species interactions, ultimately affecting ecosystem functioning of aquatic systems and their usefulness as resources for humans. We believe that the understanding of complex and synergistic effects among environmental threats is the single most important challenge for the future in order to retain the ecological integrity of aquatic ecosystems and their potential as natural resources. So far few investigations have studied the interactive effects of such multiple environmental drivers on aquatic systems. Our project is using a combination of field monitoring and large-scale experiments to improve our understanding of how our “future water” will function.

Experimental setup with water barrels
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Inside water barrel

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