L9: Resilience of the littoral community of Lake Constance: effects of neozoa, trophic- and climate change

The most important environmental changes at Lake Constance in the last years are re-oligotrophication, increase of water temperature and the immigration of new species. Although these impacts are most pronounced in littoral regions, many studies, so far, focused on the pelagic system and it is unknown how the littoral ecosystem reacts to these changes.

The project investigates changes in the littoral fish and macrozoobenthos communities of Lake Constance due to re-oligotrophication, neozoa invasion and global warming. We investigate the dynamics in neozoa invasions, shifts in diet and size spectra of dominant species and whole communities, as well as predator-prey-relationships between macroinvertebrates and littoral fish species.

A large part of the work will be analyses of existing long-term data sets. In addition, we will also use stable isotope analysis to explore changes in the diet of macroinvertebrates and fish.

Project team

University of Konstanz, Dept. of Biology – Limnological Institute, Germany

   Prof. Dr. Karl-Otto Rothhaupt – project leader, project management

   PD Dr. Dietmar Straile – project co-leader

   PD Dr. Elizabeth Yohannes – project co-leader (alumna)

   M.Sc. Maike Sabel – PhD student (alumna)

In collaboration with

Research Training Group “R3 – Responses to biotic and abiotic Changes,
Resilience and Reversibility of Lake Ecosystems“

   Prof. Dr. Erik Jeppesen

Aarhus University, Dept. of Bioscience – Lake Ecology, Denmark

   Sampling performed by HYDRA Constance, Germany 

Non-native species occurring in Lake Constance:
Picture 1:
 Zebra mussel
Picture 2: three-spined stickleback
Picture 3: Quagga mussel

Supported by

Interreg Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein/
EFRD – European Fund for Regional Development

IGKB – International Commission of Lake Constance Water Conservation

Free State of Bavaria

DFG – German Research Foundation

University of Konstanz


Poster Kick-off Symposium “Cooperation RTG R3 – SeeWandel” (21st of February 2018, University of Konstanz)

to the littoral projects