“SeeWandel: Life in Lake Constance – the past, present and future” investigates the effects of nutrient decline, climate change, non-native species and other stress factors for the Lake Constance ecosystem, its biodiversity and functioning, as well as the utilisation of lake resources by people.

The close cooperation of the seven research institutions facilitates the evaluation of important questions regarding the resilience of the Lake Constance ecosystem, potential changes in ecosystem services as well as potential future problems, as part of the planned investigations.
SeeWandel provides a basis for water management and politicians to make scientifically informed decisions about the future of Lake Constance.

Background

At the annual meeting of the International Commission of Lake Constance Water Conservation (Internationale Gewässerschutzkommission für den Bodensee, IGKB) in May 2016, the importance of further investigations regarding the resilience of Lake Constance was recognised. In this context, it was agreed to perform additional monitoring, e.g. of invasive and non-native species which are increasingly spreading in Lake Constance with the opening of the Main-Danube Canal in 1992 (linking the Rhine and Danube catchment areas), as well as additional monitoring of the littoral zone (near shore area). This, together with the existing long-term data series from Lake Constance, should serve as basis for a “Resilience Lake Constance” project.

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Due to limited financial resources and staff appropriations, it was recognised that the IGKB alone can not implement a broad research program on the resilience of Lake Constance. With the help of Interreg, the development of the SeeWandel project (SeeWandel: Life in Lake Constance – the past, present and future; original working title EnBioBo7 – conservation and changes of the biodiversity of the Lake Constance ecosystem through cross-border resilience research and cooperation of 7 institutes) was advanced, which was officially approved in November 2017 and started in January 2018.

Seven research institutes from three countries (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) work together on various topics in order to understand the responses of Lake Constance to changing environmental conditions. In particular, complex interactions between climate change, invasive and non-native species, as well as re-oligotrophication and how they affect the ecosystem are the main focus. This cross-border cooperation offers the opportunity to conduct outstanding research on issues and questions of fundamental importance to Lake Constance. In particular, the cooperation with the DFG-funded Research Training Group of the University of Konstanz “RTG R3Responses to biotic and abiotic Changes, Resilience and Reversibility of Lake Ecosystems” provides a strong scientific framework. There are many points of intersection between the two major complementary research projects, and resulting synergies for the international thematic working groups and sub-projects. While the RTG R3 focuses more on basic research, the SeeWandel sub-projects are more of an applied nature.

13 projects from 7 institutes

SeeWandel comprises 13 sub-projects whose investigations contribute to an improved process-based understanding of the pelagic zone (off shore open water area) and littoral zone (shore area), as well as interactions between them.

Research

Research community

participants
Universitys | Partners
Supporters

Overview about the project structure and organisation

 

SeeWandel Project Management

Advisory Board

P. Spaak

Project Leader (PL), Eawag

The project leader (Piet Spaak) represents Eawag as lead partner within SeeWandel and is responsible for the overall management and presentation of the project to stakeholders, project supporters and the public.

H. Hetzenauer

Deputy Project Leader (DPL),
ISF-LUBW

The deputy project leader (Harald Hetzenauer) represents the Institute for Lake Research (ISF) of the LUBW, which also plays a crucial role in project administration. As the head of the section “Lake” (FB See) of the IGKB, he takes over communication with the IGKB, in consultation with the project leader P. Spaak.

Steering Committee

A. Brinker, FFS-LAZBW | M. Möst, U Innsbruck (UI) | K.-O. Rothhaupt, U Konstanz (UK) | K. Schmieder, U Hohenheim (UH) | T. Posch, U Zurich (UZH) | TBA (Practice Representative) | PL & DPL

In this body, all of the 7 SeeWandel research institutions and the practice are represented. The members represent SeeWandel within their institutions and support the project leader, particularly within the scope of their field of expertise. The steering committee has the overall responsibility for all scientific, financial and management issues, as well as any activities and concerns related to communication, external presentation of the project and knowledge transfer. All project-relevant decisions are made in this body. Furthermore, the team is responsible for synthesis and knowledge transfer of the project results, especially for topics that cannot be addressed within the thematic working groups.

Project Coordination (PC) & Administration (PA)

J. Alexander (PC) | A. Maniglia (PA)

The project coordinator (Josephine Alexander, 60%) and the project administrator (Arianne Maniglia, 40%) support the steering committee, in particular with regard to reporting (finances, scientific reporting), the organisation and hosting of retreats, meetings etc., and administrative matters (staff, finances, implementation of guidelines, rules etc.), as well as communication (internal and external) and public relations (e.g. SeeWandel website).

 

S. Müller, Chair, FOEN & IGKB | R. Eggen, Eawag | A. Fäh, IBK-U, AWEL | B. Lundsgaard-Hansen, IGKB-SVK | F. Peeters, U Konstanz, RTG R3 | H. Romang, FOEN, AÖL | D. Thiel, IBKF | J. Wüest, Eawag, EPFL

Country/Canton Representatives
L. Walser, AT | V. Leib, CH |
C. Schranz,
BY | H. Hetzenauer, BW

SeeWandel Research Institutions Representatives & Sub-project PIs
Eawag: P. Feulner, B. Matthews, O. Seehausen, P. Spaak | ISF-LUBW: H. Hetzenauer, B. Wahl | FFS-LAZBW: A. Brinker | UI: M. Möst | UH: F. Schurr, K. Schmieder | UZH: J. Pernthaler, T. Posch | UK: K.-O. Rothhaupt, D. Straile, E. Yohannes

The advisory board (AB) acts as a consultative body. The AB-meetings provide a framework for stakeholders, project institutions, funders and project coordination to meet. The members support the project leader especially in strategic topics concerning the science-policy-practice interfaces, and promote networking and cooperation between the different interest groups.

 

SeeWandel Project Management

P. Spaak

Project Leader (PL), Eawag

The project leader (Piet Spaak) represents Eawag as lead partner within SeeWandel and is responsible for the overall management and presentation of the project to stakeholders, project supporters and the public.

H. Hetzenauer

Deputy Project Leader (DPL),
ISF-LUBW

The deputy project leader (Harald Hetzenauer) represents the Institute for Lake Research (ISF) of the LUBW, which also plays a crucial role in project administration. As the head of the section “Lake” (FB See) of the IGKB, he takes over communication with the IGKB, in consultation with the project leader P. Spaak.

Steering Committee

A. Brinker, FFS-LAZBW | M. Möst, U Innsbruck (UI) | K.-O. Rothhaupt, U Konstanz (UK) | K. Schmieder, U Hohenheim (UH) | T. Posch, U Zurich (UZH) | TBA (Practice Representative) | PL & DPL

In this body, all of the 7 SeeWandel research institutions and the practice are represented. The members represent SeeWandel within their institutions and support the project leader, particularly within the scope of their field of expertise. The steering committee has the overall responsibility for all scientific, financial and management issues, as well as any activities and concerns related to communication, external presentation of the project and knowledge transfer. All project-relevant decisions are made in this body. Furthermore, the team is responsible for synthesis and knowledge transfer of the project results, especially for topics that cannot be addressed within the thematic working groups.

Project Coordination (PC) & Administration (PA)

J. Alexander (PC) | A. Maniglia (PA)

The project coordinator (Josephine Alexander, 60%) and the project administrator (Arianne Maniglia, 40%) support the steering committee, in particular with regard to reporting (finances, scientific reporting), the organisation and hosting of retreats, meetings etc., and administrative matters (staff, finances, implementation of guidelines, rules etc.), as well as communication (internal and external) and public relations (e.g. SeeWandel website).

 

Advisory Board

S. Müller, Chair, FOEN & IGKB | R. Eggen, Eawag | A. Fäh, IBK-U, AWEL | B. Lundsgaard-Hansen, IGKB-SVK | F. Peeters, U Konstanz, RTG R3 | H. Romang, FOEN, AÖL | D. Thiel, IBKF | J. Wüest, Eawag, EPFL

Country/Canton Representatives
L. Walser, AT | V. Leib, CH |
C. Schranz,
BY | H. Hetzenauer, BW

SeeWandel Research Institutions Representatives & Sub-project PLs
Eawag: P. Feulner, B. Matthews, O. Seehausen, P. Spaak | ISF-LUBW: H. Hetzenauer, B. Wahl | FFS-LAZBW: A. Brinker | UI: M. Möst | UH: F. Schurr, K. Schmieder | UZH: J. Pernthaler, T. Posch | UK: K.-O. Rothhaupt, D. Straile, E. Yohannes

The advisory board (AB) acts as a consultative body. The AB-meetings provide a framework for stakeholders, project institutions, funders and project coordination to meet. The members support the project leader especially in strategic topics concerning the science-policy-practice interfaces, and promote networking and cooperation between the different interest groups.

 

Advisory Board

S. Müller, Vorsitz, BAFU & IGKB
R. Eggen, Eawag | A. Fäh, IBK-U, AWEL | B. Lundsgaard-Hansen, IGKB-SVK | F. Peeters, U Konstanz, RTG R3 | H. Romang, BAFU, AÖL | D. Thiel, IBKF | J. Wüest, Eawag, EPFL

Country/Canton Representatives
L. Walser, AT | V. Leib, CH |
C. Schranz,
BY | H. Hetzenauer, BW

SeeWandel Research Institutions Representatives & Sub-project PIs Eawag: P. Feulner, B. Matthews, O. Seehausen, P. Spaak | ISF-LUBW: H. Hetzenauer, B. Wahl | FFS-LAZBW: A. Brinker | UI: M. Möst | UH: F. Schurr, K. Schmieder | UZH: J. Pernthaler, T. Posch | UK: K.-O. Rothhaupt, D. Straile, E. Yohannes

The advisory board (AB) acts as a consultative body. The AB-meetings provide a framework for stakeholders, project institutions, funders and project coordination to meet. The members support the project leader especially in strategic topics concerning the science-policy-practice interfaces, and promote networking and cooperation between the different interest groups.  

SeeWandel Project Synthesis Group (S14)

Steering Committee, PC, Experts

The synthesis group coordinates the project synthesis, producing targeted products tailored to specific audiences. Depending on the area of specialisation of the project synthesis, external experts will be consulted. The project leader, supported by the practice representative, acts as a link between the expert committee of the IGKB and IBKF, the respective practice representatives in the thematic working groups and the steering committee. This ensures continuous exchange and knowledge transfer between practice and science.

 

4 Thematic Working Groups

Thematic working groups (TG) facilitate scientific discussions and interactions within and beyond SeeWandel as well as with other external scientists, and foster exchange and knowledge transfer between science and practice with specific focus on the development of Lake Constance. Discussions and work performed within the framework of the four TG are fundamental for project synthesis and the transfer of knowledge. Inviting external experts strengthens the interdisciplinary research network. The practice representatives in the TG are familiar with the Lake Constance region and form the interface between science and practice / authorities / commissions, and contribute to their active networking.

Fishes

Pelagic Zone

Neozoa &
Climate Change

Littoral

A. Brinker (Chair)
B. Matthews (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P1, P3 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), P2, P4, L12, L13 (SeeWandel)

PL/DPL/PC

M. Möst (Chair)
D. Straile (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P5, P6, P7, P8, L10 (SeeWandel), A3, B2 (RTG R3), U Konstanz

PL/DPL/PC

K.-O. Rothhaupt (Chair)
NN (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
L9 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), L10 (SeeWandel),
PhD H. Zhang (UK), Hydra

PL/DPL/PC

K. Schmieder (Chair)
NN (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P1, L9 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), P7, L10, L11, L12, L13 (SeeWandel)

PL/DPL/PC

Practice Representative
B. Lundsgaard-Hansen, N. Schotzko

Practice Representative
L. Taxböck

Practice Representative
P. Teiber-Sießegger, R. Schick

Practice Representative
C. Schranz, B. Engstle

Fishes

A. Brinker (Chair)
B. Matthews (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P1, P3 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), P2, P4, L12, L13 (SeeWandel)

PL/DPL/PC

Practice Representative
B. Lundsgaard-Hansen, N. Schotzko

Pelagic Zone

M. Möst (Chair)
D. Straile (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P5, P6, P7, P8, L10 (SeeWandel), A3, B2 (RTG R3), U Konstanz

PL/DPL/PC

Practice Representative
L. Taxböck

Neozoa &
Climate Change

K.-O. Rothhaupt (Chair)
NN (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
L9 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), L10 (SeeWandel),
PhD H. Zhang (UK), Hydra

PL/DPL/PC

Practice Representative
P. Teiber-Sießegger, R. Schick

Littoral

K. Schmieder (Chair)
NN (Deputy)

PIs & members of
sub-projects:
P1, L9 (SeeWandel/RTG R3), P7, L10, L11, L12, L13 (SeeWandel)

PL/DPL/PC

Practice Representative
C. Schranz, B. Engstle

Applied aspects

The work of SeeWandel at Lake Constance focuses on the close interaction with stakeholders, political
policy-makers and other social actors. The research approaches of SeeWandel require integration as well as interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.

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SeeWandel aims to contribute to the development of effective tools for the sustainable management of the Lake Constance ecosystem, as well as to the understanding of the resilience of the ecosystem to current problems in the lake. Hence, SeeWandel contributes to the conservation and preservation of biodiversity at Lake Constance with existing use of lake resources by people. Project results are discussed intensively with authorities of the states bordering Lake Constance. Knowledge gained and methods developed within SeeWandel should also be applicable to other lakes.

The embedding of several research institutes involved in SeeWandel in the Lake Constance Monitoring of the International Commission of Lake Constance Water Conservation (Internationale Gewässerschutzkommission für den Bodensee, IGKB) and the European Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD), fosters the close contact with authorities and institutions of water conservation. The close cooperation of the seven research institutes as well as the close cooperation with the Research Training Group of the University of Konstanz “RTG R– Responses to biotic and abiotic Changes, Resilience and Reversibility of Lake Ecosystems” strengthens the international, interdisciplinary research network. In addition, representatives of the SeeWandel research institutes are actively involved in discussions, among others, of the fisheries associations (e.g. International Lake Constance Fishery Commission (Internationale Bevollmächtigtenkonferenz für die Bodenseefischerei), IBKF) and at the forums on re-oligotrophication (e.g. “Dialogforum See und Fisch Bodensee”). Representatives are available as contact experts for institutions at the federal level, such as the FOEN on the Swiss side.

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