Newsletter 10/2015



Development of a species conservation concept for freshwater mussels within ArKoNaVer-project

Muschelnachzucht © Thomas Schiller (TU Dresden) For a period of 6 years, the BMBF and the BfN/BMUB will fund the project "Implementation of regional protection measures and development of a new transregional species conservation concept for the National Responsibility Species: Freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) and Painter's mussel (Unio pictorum) - ArKoNaVera" (Coordination: TU Dresden) in the framework of their Funding Initiative for Implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy. The few surviving populations of great freshwater mussels in Germany are over-aged, isolated in their habitats and genetically depleted. In cooperation with agencies, authorities and additional partners, researchers from UFZ and TU Dresden will develop management measures for the sustainable establishment of the great freshwater mussel species which are endangered or at risk of extinction nationwide.

The scientists want to generate new insights which contribute to the optimization of breeding and reintroduction of the mussels. Resulting measures will be implemented and evaluated in several pilot regions. The TUD is responsible for the scientific support of implementation measures by development of a great freshwater mussel database and a decision support system. The UFZ will analyse the dietary requirements of juvenile mussels and develop methods for population monitoring. ArKoNaVera strenghten the cooperation of CAWR researchers from Thematic field 1. The kick-off meeting of the project will take place on 27th November 2015 in Passau. More information here


Drought monitor shows current soil dryness in Germany

Dürremonitor September 2015 Total soil column (~1,8 m)
September 2015
Yellow: abnormally dry
Dark red: exceptional drought
© M. Zink & A. Marx (UFZ)
The summer 2015 has been exceptionally dry in Germany - a severe stress for agriculture, shipping traffic and ecosystems. Scientists of the UFZ department Computational Hydrosystems and the Climate Office for Central Germany have developed a Drought Monitor which informs users about the current state of the soil. The basic research for establishment of the Drought Monitor has been also conducted in the framework of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative REKLIM. The Soil Moisture Index SMI is computed by operational hydrologic modelling (mHM) using measured precipitation data showing whether a particular location is affected by drought or not. The model can be used to examine past and present droughts more closely with regard to their causes, their process and their impact. The development of this innovative tool contributes to the CAWR Thematic fields 2, 4 and 5. More information here

CAWR Modellers intensify collaboration in working group SWAT Germany

Since 2012, CAWR scientists of the UFZ department Computational Landscape Ecology and the TU Dresden Institute of Soil Science and Site Ecology together with researchers from University of Kiel cultivate a fruitful cooperation in the working group "SWAT Germany". The SWAT (Soil & Water Assessment Tool) Model is one of the most widely used landscape-scale hydrologic models which has been developed and is supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the SWAT Germany group is to establish a platform for regular exchange of ideas and new insights between SWAT experts active in Germany, and to initiate joint research projects. The group members organize yearly meetings with representatives of german research institutions and SMEs who work with the model. Several research proposals have been developed and submitted (DFG, EC Horizon 2020), with more currently under development. More information here

Sino-german cooperation group develops simulation platform prototype

Poyang Lake First workshop of the sino-german cooperation group in Leipzig/Dresden (20.-28.09.2015) © Tom Fischer (UFZ) The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion will fund a chinese-german cooperation group (Coordination: UFZ and Chinese Academy of Sciences) for the upcoming 3 years. The goal of the initiative is the establishment of a network that wants to develop a "Modelling Platform Prototype for Environmental System Dynamics". The prototype will initially be established for the Poyang Lake Basin in China, in order to investigate changes in land use, soil cover and water resources and their multiple drivers. On the german side CAWR scientists are in charge of two work packages: Prof. Olaf Kolditz (UFZ/TUD, Speaker Thematic field 4) will work mainly on theoretical problems during development of the prototype; Prof. T.U. Berendonk (TUD, Speaker Thematic field 1) is involved in the modelling of drivers of ecosystem change processes. More information here


Honorary Doctorate of TU Dresden for renowned soil scientist Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal Prof. R. Lal after receiving the Honorary Doctorate Certificate from TU Dresden Rector Prof. H. Müller-Steinhagen and the Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. K.-H. Feger. © Dörte Gerlach The soil scientist Rattan Lal, born in India and appointed as "Distinguished Professor" at Ohio State University (USA), received the honorary degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences honoris causa from the TU Dresden on September 23, 2015 for his scientific achievements and engagement. He gave an invited keynote lecture on the topic of Land-use effects on coupled cycling of carbon and water in a changing climate. Karl-Heinz Feger, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences explained "Rattan Lals research topics and spheres of activity go far beyond soil science. His seminal and much noted publications on the potential of carbon storage in soils connected to global change, food security in a world with ever growing population, as well as sustainable integrated management of soil and water resources are of global importance".  More information here

German-French-Polish Conference "Water and Climate Change" in Leipzig

Water and Climate Change Conference © German-French University On November 16th - 17th, 2015 the French Embassy in Germany, the French-German University, the UFZ and additional partners organize a conference on water quality and water resources in the context of global climate change. The trilateral conference brings together polish, french and german players from research and development in order to discuss current challenges and identify potentials for intensification of cooperations. The focus of the event will be on the the topics water quality, hydrological modelling, extreme events and water/wastewater treatment. Prof. D. Borchardt will give a keynote lecture on "Good Water Quality under climate change: an achievable or doomed environmental objective?"; other CAWR scientists are involved as speakers as well. An active participation of junior scientists is explicitly encouraged. More information here

20 year anniversary of TU Institute of Waste Management and Circular Economy

Abfall Ceremony for the 20th anniversity of the Institute (f. l.: Prof. P. Krebs, Speaker Department of Hydrosciences; Prof. B. Bilitewski, founder of the Institute; Prof. C. Dornack, Director; Dr. R. Werner, Saxonian State Ministry of Science and the Arts; Prof. K.-H. Feger, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences; Prof. R. Ardakanian, Director UNU Flores) © Catalin Stefan (TU Dresden) With an official ceremony on October 1st, 2015 the 20-year anniversary of the Institute for Waste Management and Contaminated Site Treatment was celebrated, the main building in Pirna inaugurated and the institute renamed as Institute of Waste Management and Circular Economy. Since January 2015, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Christina Dornack holds the chair for Waste Management and Circular Economy.  Among others, the topics "Characterization of transport, degradation and retention processes of contaminants and residues", and "Development of instruments for safeguarding the resource water" are prominent in the research portfolio of the Institute, highlighting important contributions to the general CAWR mission and to Thematic fields 1 and 3. In addition there is the Junior Research Group „INOWAS“ dealing with compensation of deficits in water resources management. More information here