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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Coping with an extreme environment: plankton in acid mining lakes


Extended lake areas originating from former open cast coal mining are created in eastern Germany during the next decades owing to the strong reduction of mining activities since 1991. The frequently large and deep lakes are often extremely acidified (pH 2-3.5) by pyrite oxidation which renders them unsuitable for fishing, recreation, irrigation, and drinking water supply. Given the large socio- economical impact/expectations, techniques for neutralization are urgently searched for. This is hampered by a lack of a very basic understanding of the food web structure and functioning, the mechanisms by which some organisms are able to adapt to the adverse habituate, etc. By setting up a mutually stimulating interplay between field, laboratory, and modelling studies we want to address these questions. Complex laboratory studies are essential to identify the causes underlying the differences in food web functioning between natural and mining lakes which are required for a cost efficient neutralization of the lakes without unbearable eutrophication. Food webs in acid mining lakes provide also excellent model systems to recognize general regularities of ecological processes in ext

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Maulbeerallee 2

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