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The Project TeichLausitz

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What is the Project TeichLausitz about?

The Lusatian pond landscape is the largest contiguous pond area in Germany and has a more than 750-year tradition of carp pond management in this form. Using an inter- and transdisciplinary research approach, the TeichLausitz project is investigating how these ecologically valuable cultural landscapes in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony can be secured in the long term. The focus in this project is both on the conservation of the managed ponds and on the preservation of the associated biodiversity and ecosystem services within Lusatia. In this context, recommendations for the further design of relevant framework conditions and support programmes based on natural, economic and social science studies are to be developed and made available to decision-makers. To accomplish such a complex project, broad cooperation is necessary, which is why this project is being supervised and worked on by three scientific institutions (International University Institute Zittau of the Technical University Dresden, Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute Bremerhaven, Potsdam Institute of Inland Fisheries - IfB) and one practical partner (administration of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape State Enterprise Saxony Forest). It is particularly important for us to involve the numerous stakeholders in the Lusatian pond farms, such as the pond farmers, representatives of the authorities and associations and other interest groups. The project is divided into seven modules and thus combines scientific expertise and practical knowledge.

 

Modular Structure of the TeichLausitz Project

Modular structure of the TeichLausitz project: Building on the economic and social science analysis of existing governance structures and policy instruments, the results achieved in the natural science and business management modules 2-4 flow into the inter- and transdisciplinary analyses for the further development of governance structures and policy instruments in module 5. The integration of the key stakeholders as well as project coordination, communication and utilisation of results in modules 6 and 7 form the organisational framework.

Tasks of the IfB in the TeichLausitz project

The IfB manages Modules 2 and 7 in the project. In their entirety, the results produced by the Potsdam Institute of Inland Fisheries serve as a basis for assessing whether the implementation of support and maintenance measures and the resulting various management methods have an effect in practice; this is in regard to the biodiversity of ponds and whether intended objectives of the nature conservation instruments are actually achieved. At the same time, gained insights serve as building blocks for other modules, specifically in connection with the elaboration of innovative governance options and policy instruments (Module 5).

 

Module 2: Biodiversity and pond management

We contribute our scientific expertise to the project (Module 2), and prepare an ecological assessment of biodiversity in differently managed ponds and pond groups, using both established (standard) methods and innovative techniques. For this project, it is crucial to first define harmonised study groups (ponds/pond groups) and delimit them according to local management variants and conditions (e.g. pond size, location in protected areas, stocking rate). Based on this, an investigation of the biodiversity in differently managed ponds (yield-oriented, production-oriented, unmanaged) is carried out using established procedures and methods for recording the species diversity of fish and molluscs. As an innovative method, we are planning to analyse environmental DNA (eDNA) in the water during pond emptying in order to compare this procedure with the conventional recording of fish species and quantities during pond emptying, particularly with regard to its quantitative significance. As an additional innovative element of the project, species-specific life cycles of fish helminths will be investigated to map local functional biodiversity. The results of the investigations and analyses carried out at the local level will be compared with current pond management measures and other potential influencing factors. Finally the new insights will allow an assessment of the effect that support and maintenance measures have on pond biodiversity.
In a further step, we investigate the biodiversity of pond groups at regional level by examining the occurrence of priority and otherwise protected species (e.g. FFH species, BArtSchV, SchutzgebietsVO) in pond groups (landscape level) for correlations with management concepts, support programmes and environmental variables. The investigation at regional level will be based on existing monitoring data and an explorative analysis of the relevant causes of variance. With these findings, indicators for the biodiversity and ecological integrity of carp ponds will be derived.

In addition, the  Potsdam Institute of Inland Fisheries is balancing nutrient flows in ponds with different management regimes. Furthermore, the extent of nutrient retention in the landscape will be assessed as an essential service of the carp pond ecosystem depending on management measures.

Lusation Pond (Phot: Dirk Weis)

The management of ponds is the basis for biodiversity in and around ponds. Our studies are meant to investigate more closely the effect of different management methods on the biodiversity of ponds and to what extent the intended goals of nature conservation can actually be achieved. Photo: Dirk Weis

Module 7: Coordination, communication and evaluation of results

In addition to the scientific investigations, the Potsdam Institute of Inland Fisheries is responsible for project coordination, communication and evaluation of results (Module 7). The aim is to ensure that the project is implemented in terms of content as well as time and budget. This is done, among other things, by ensuring a permanent project-related exchange among the project partners and modules, content-related and organisational preparation of working meetings and continuous comparison of the project's actual status and the planned milestones. However, it is not only the internal project communication that is important to us but also the ongoing exchange on the project's progress with the funding agency, and any adjustments that need to be made. We also inform other projects of the BMBF's BioDiWert initiative, other experts, and the general public on project progress and results.

 

Tasks of the cooperation partners in the TeichLausitz project

 

The project collaborators present their tasks on their own websites. Just have a look, the links will take you there, directly. Have fun browsing!


Under the direction of the International University Institute Zittau - TU Dresden, the following modules are being developed:

Module 1: Analysis of existing governance structures and policy instruments,
Module 3: Ecosystem services of pond landscapes,
Module 5: Development of innovative governance options and policy instruments.
 

Module 4: Operational framework and profitability in relation to policy instruments
is under the direction of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute.

 

The biosphere reserve administration Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft is leading the

Module 6: Establishment of a transnational multi-stakeholder platform.

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