Inland Waters and Floodplains
The inland waters and floodplains assessed in this project include streams, rivers and lakes, as well as estuaries, small water bodies, fens and groundwater. Relative to their total area in Germany, these water-dominated habitats harbor a relatively high level of biodiversity. Most of the threat to this biodiversity is attributable to human activity and the associated environmental pressures. Rather than the protection of individual species, the main focus should be on the conservation of entire species communities that are typical of these habitats and influence their diverse ecological processes. The ability of these communities to adapt to climatic changes is also closely linked to genetic diversity within species.
Basis for the Faktencheck Artenvielfalt on the biodiversity of inland waters and floodplains is the compilation of relevant literature sources, such as journals, red lists, research reports as well as graduation theses from universities. The data on inland water species and species communities therein are analyzed regarding their current status as well as their trends over the past 30 to 50 years. Similarly, data on the status and trends of multiple environmental pressures impacting inland waters and floodplains are going to be evaluated. This also includes influences that result from climate change as well as from changes in land use in the catchment areas of inland waters. The novelty of this assessment is that besides the impacts on biodiversity itself, the changes in ecosystem services are documented as well, if their provision is related to biodiversity.
Following the comprehensive analysis of the current status and trends of biodiversity as well as their influencing factors, measures for biodiversity conservation and their implementation obstacles will be evaluated. The aim of this analysis is to identify criteria for the effectiveness of measures and thus their success. Finally, a compilation of options for action and knowledge gaps is presented.