Project groups


Invasive, non-indigenous species (NIS) present a threat to biodiversity and are on a global scale one of the most important factors in the extinction or displacement of native species. In addition, they cause significant economic and health damage which, in a recent report by the EU Commission, was estimated at 9.6 to 12.7 billion euros per year for Europe. Under climate change conditions it is assumed that the problems caused by NIS will increase and that growing displacement pressure on indigenous species by NIS will result.

In this project we perform experimental studies under laboratory conditions to investigate (1) whether climate change favours the displacement of indigenous species in aquatic ecosystems by NIS, (2) the role of co-stressors (osmotic stress, temporary desiccation, hydraulic drift, pollutants), (3) whether NIS exhibit a greater tolerance to these co-stressors and (4) whether this leads to an increased risk of climate change-related displacement in the biocenoses. In addition to a series of single-stressor experiments with a mono-species design, combined stressor studies with co-exposure of indigenous species and NIS will be performed with the aim of providing answers to these questions. The laboratory results will be subsequently validated in the field.

This project contributes to an understanding of the effects of climate change on the potential medium-term spread of NIS in aquatic ecosystems. Our findings will provide valuable information for the development of strategies to mitigate climate-related displacement effects (such as custom water body restoration, habitat diversification and pollutant reductions).


Dr. Matthias Oetken, Researcher
Anne Seeland, Ph.D. student


Oetken, M., Jagodzinski, L.S., Vogt, C., Jochum, A. & J. Oehlmann : Combined effects of chemical and temperature stress on Chironomus riparius populations with differing genetic variability. - Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A (2009) 44, 955–962.
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Scherer, C., Seeland, A., Oehlmann, J. & R. Müller (2013) : Interactive effects of xenobiotic, abiotic and biotic stressors on Daphnia pulex—Results from a multiple stressor experiment with a fractional multifactorial design. - Aquatic Toxicology 138-139: 105-115.

Seeland, A., Oehlmann, J. & R. Müller (2012) : Aquatic ecotoxicity of the fungicide pyrimethanil: Effect profile under optimal and thermal stress conditions. - Environmental Pollution 168: 161-169.

Seeland, A., Oetken, M., Kiss, A., Fries, E. & J. Oehlmann (2012) : Acute and chronic toxicity of benzotriazoles to aquatic organisms. - Environmental Science and Pollution Research 19: 1781-1790.

Seeland, A., Albrand, J., Oehlmann, J. & R. Müller (2013) : Life stage-specific effects of the fungicide pyrimethanil and temperature on the snail Physella acuta (Draparnaud, 1805) disclose the pitfalls for the aquatic risk assessment under global climate change. - Environmental Pollution 174: 1-9.

Sieratowicz, A., Stange, D., Schulte-Oehlmann, U. & J. Oehlmann (2011) : Reproductive toxicity of bisphenol A and cadmium in Potamopyrgus antipodarum and modulation of bisphenol A effects by different test temperature. - Environmental Pollution 159: 2766-2774.