Research – Lake Ecology
The department conducts research on the management of lake ecosystems and the impact of human activity on lake water quality.
The majority of Danish lakes are shallow and the main environmental issue is eutrophication attributable to past and present excessive nutrient loading from agriculture and sewage.
A major objective is therefore to predict the effects of reduced nutrient loading on the biological structure in shallow lakes, and to establish measures to reduce lake recovery time.
The department's research strategy combines intensive investigation in a limited number of lakes with an extensive database of data from a large number of Danish lakes.
The database is a valuable tool in this research, being used to test the generality of the results from the intensive studies.
The department's lake research encompasses
- the significance of physical, chemical and biological interactions for the environmental quality of freshwater lakes exposed to reduced nutrient loading
- the effects on lake recovery of removing planktivorous fish, stocking with piscivorous fish or implantation of submerged macrophytes
- paleolimnology in order to describe the biological structure back in time
- the development of empirical and dynamic models of the biological structure of shallow lakes
- biological structure and dynamics of shallow brackish lakes of differing salinity and nutrient concentration
- the influence of climate changes on biological structure and dynamics in Arctic and temperate lakes
The department's research strategy together with the establishment of empirical and dynamics models facilitates use of the research findings in policy analysis.
Thus the impact on the lake ecosystems of measures applied in agriculture and sewage management can be predicted in scenarios.
Danish lakes and estuaries are important resting and breeding areas for birds.
Both types of ecosystem are important for biodiversity at both the national and international levels, and lake restoration is one of the major means of increasing biodiversity.
High priority is therefore given to lake restoration measures and their effects on the flora and fauna.