Freshwater ecosystems face multiple human-induced environmental stressors including climate warming and chemical pollution. We do not have enough evidence to fully understand and predict community responses to these combined stressors. In this follow-up to our previous project run in 2020-2023, we aim to unravel the combined impacts of climate change and pollution by pharmaceuticals a pesticides on nutrient flows and lower trophic levels from microbes to zooplankton in small standing waters. Using lab and mesocosm experiments, we will study their effects on nutrient flows and microbial, phyto- and zooplankton communities across multiple temporal scales.

We will collaborate on this project with the LECHB laboratory at the Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters of the University of South Bohemia and the group of Dr. Michaela Salcher from the Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre CAS, Czech Republic.

Project funding: Grant Agency of the Czech Republic

The project led by Prof. Michal Horsák’s group at Masaryk University in Brno explores the causes of compositional changes in stream invertebrate communities in response to climate warming, often showing increased diversity at regional and local scales due to the prevalence of ‘winning’ over ‘losing’ species. Our task in this project is to study the metabolic, behavioural, and physiological aspects of the thermal niche in related model species of insect winners and non-winners in laboratory experiments.