Dr. Sabine Hilt (Department of Community and Ecosystem Ecology at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB, Germany)
Planktonic and benthic primary producers are key components in most freshwaters. They affect crucial ecosystem functions and services including biodiversity, nutrient retention, carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions. Alarming current trends such as increasing benthic filamentous algae in the world’s clearest lakes, declining submerged macrophyte abundance or animal poisonings by neurotoxins produced in benthic cyanobacteria are far from understood, but potentially linked to complex stressor interactions during global change. I will show examples from our micro- and mesocosm experiments, long-term field data and modelling to discuss how single and combined effects of warming, pesticides, browning, skyglow and species invasions can lead to significant changes in the phenology, abundance, diversity and interactions among freshwater primary producers.