Continuous monitoring of algal community traits and functions
Within this project a flow cytometer based continuous monitoring system for the algal communities (phytoplankton and periphyton) will be established in the River Bode catchment (Germany). The data from this monitoring system will be coupled with physical, chemical, and additional biological parameter and will be analysed for the main drivers determining algal community composition and its temporal dynamics. Dominant algal taxa will be identified and analysed for their trait values (e.g. growth rate, demands of light and nutrients, temperature optimum, etc.).
Within this framework general ecological concepts can be tested, like e.g. niche theory, neutral theory, meta-community concept, and transient population dynamics. Finally, the results will be implemented into ecological and water-quality models.