(So far only available in German)

Lebensader Fluss (The river as an artery)

Humans can do without a kidney, if necessary. When the liver stops detoxification, things get serious. But a clogged artery can be fatal. There are clear boundaries for when circulation stops - this is also true for the environment: Rivers, which are often compared to arteries, give life to a landscape. All surface water, including natural lakes or dams, are vitally important for animals and plants, as well as for humans. They provide resources for drinking water, energy production and food sources. They provide room for regeneration and serve as natural habitat for a big part of the global and diverse animal and plant species. They are transport routes for ships and boats. But they are also used as drains and disposal routes. Nutrients and pollutants from sewage plants and agriculture, new and unknown chemicals, water withdrawal, barrages, straightening and artificial structures put rivers and the neighbouring floodplains under pressure. And then there's the climate change.

How do rivers' plant and animal communities react to this and what do we have to do to keep the rivers working in the future? The scientists in the IP "Aquatic Ecosystems" are looking for answers to these questions.

Author: Annegret Faber (8:15 min)

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