Casestudy 1

University of Amsterdam, Department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology

The department of Freshwater & Marine Ecology (FAME) aims to increase our understanding of the biodiversity and dynamics of freshwater and marine ecosystems from the level of molecules and genes to entire ecosystems. Our aim is to unravel how aquatic ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. The focus lies on the interactions between aquatic organisms and their abiotic environment, including their role in biogeochemical cycles and the temporal and spatial dynamics that emerge from these interactions. Research of the FAME department focusses on both benthic (coral reefs, aquatic sediments) and pelagic ecosystems (plankton), with a strong emphasis on those organisms that play a key role in primary production and biogeochemical cycles (i.e., bacteria, phytoplankton, benthic invertebrates, pteropods, corals, sponges). In this research, mathematical models, omics techniques, state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, laboratory experiments and field studies are used

Case study

Delta lakes

One of the research projects of FAME is carried out in lake Markermeer, a large constructed delta lake in the centre of the Netherlands. Markermeer is an important nature reserve, protected under EU Natura2000 legislation. It provides many ecosystem services for the Amsterdam metropole region, such as fisheries, drinking water production, water storage and recreation. However, since closure of the lake by the Houtribdijk, ecological functioning of this lake is declining rapidly, and the ecosystem services are under severe threat. The University of Amsterdam has started an integrated research program to gain understanding of the ecological functioning of these large human created delta-lakes. Moreover, the Markermeer serves as a great model for many deteriorated constructed delta-lakes worldwide. As part of this program, a new research vessel has been built to do ecological research on the lake.  This boat is a state-of-the-art research vessel that is fully equipped with high-tech sensors and other experimental facilities for field research, recently also including a portabe Gas Analyzer

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