In 2018, we joined the teams lead by Meryem Beklioglu, Boris Jovanovic and Heidrun Feuchtmayr and took part in an experiment at METU that looked into the effects of microplastics on freshwater food webs. We contributed with our expertise on aquatic insects and other macroinvertebrates, the use of emergence traps, and advanced statistical methods to analyse the resulting data. 

We were truly excited to get the results published in Science of the Total Environment (Yildiz et al. 2022)!

Funding: EU Aquacosm project - Transnational Access grant

David Boukal, Derya Riha and Nur Filiz in the field

In collaboration with Robert Tropek, we will focus on the impoverished European landscapes, such as stone quarries, open mines, spoil heaps, sandpits, or fly ash deposits, which serve as crucial secondary refuges for various species of threatened habitats. Very often such post-industrial sites harbour many endangered organisms vanishing from our common landscapes. In this context, we will combine a landscape-scale, multi-taxa field survey with laboratory experiments and field transplants to provide the first community-level inventory of the biota in fly ash lagoons, compare them with communities in nearby unpolluted sites in sandpit pools, and quantify the effects of stressors on individuals. This will enable us to unravel key stressors that shape these communities and affect their constituent species. Our case study will cover aquatic cyanobacteria, algae, macrophytes, zooplankton and aquatic macroinvertebrates.

Funding: Grant Agency of the Czech Republic