The project focus was on picocyanobacteria (very small blue algae) which play a decisive and positive role in the ecological balance of waters, and can serve as an indicator organism for water quality. The unicellular organisms, which are 50 times smaller than the diameter of a hair and thus undetectable to the naked eye, are among the most important organisms for driving photosynthesis is waters. By fixing CO2, they play a significant role in the global carbon cycle and can thus counteract climate change by preventing a further increase in the concentration of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
As part of his PhD, Joachim Ruber analyzed the occurrence of the bacteria and the effects thereof on waters in the Osterseen (literally: Easter Lakes) near Iffeldorf. The main goal was the development of a picocyanobacteria index for assessing the water quality of freshwater lakes.
The project was carried out from February 2014 until August 2017 at the Limnological Station Iffeldorf, which belongs to the Chair of Aquatic Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich.
The Frank Hirschvogel Foundation supported and accompanied this highly interesting and sustainable research project for its entire duration.
Age category: PhD dissertation
Venue: Limnological Station in Iffeldorf
Primary goal: Development of a picocyanobacteria index for assessing the water quality of freshwater lakes.