Near-natural lakes are important service providers
Urban rivers are affected by multiple stress
Sampling large and remote lakes
Habitat diversity and biodiversity
Near natural floodplains and river self-purification
Sampling large and remote lakes
Leaf decomposition as a key function of freshwater ecosystems

Welcome to MARS

The MARS project is over, it has been finished in January 2018.

We have investigated how multiple stressors affect rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Formerly, rivers and lakes were impacted by strong, single stressors, e.g. by organic pollution or acidification. They were replaced by a complex mix of stressors resulting from urban and agricultural land use, water power generation and climate change.

  • In field experiments we have addressed the effect of extreme climate events such as heavy rainfall, heatwaves and water scarcity, and the effects of environmental flows.
  • In 16 river basins throughout Europe we have modeled the effects of water scarcity and flow alterations (Southern Europe); hydrology, morphology and nutrient stress (Central Europe); and hydrology and temperature alterations (Northern Europe).
  • Using Europe-wide data sets we have identifed relationships between stress intensity, status and service provision, with a focus on large transboundary rivers, lakes and fish as direct providers of ecosystem services.
  • We helped implementing European directives: the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources. will stay online and informs about the results and the background of MARS, i.e. how we were connected to previous and ongoing research, about our aims and approaches, the methods we were using (experiments, catchments, data).

Our Freshwater-blog will be continued and covers a wide range of current water management topics and is always worth a visit.

To understand what MARS was standing for, watch the interview with Daniel Hering, the coordinator of the project and the "Introduction to MARS", a short video about how multiple stressors affect water bodies and how MARS comes in to answer the open questions and last but not least our great short film about "Good ecological status of rivers and lakes". Watch videos.

Part of our work was the cooperation with other EU funded projects. See who our partner projects were and what they did.

MARS Recommendations

The MARS Recommendations document provides information and highlights relevant outcomes of the MARS project aiming to inform River Basin Managers and stakeholders in other sectors (energy, water industry, agriculture) on how to best assess and mitigate impacts of multiple stressors acting on Europe’s aquatic ecosystems.

read more..

EU flag

The MARS project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress) was funded
by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 603378. Duration: 01 Feb 2014 - 31 Jan 2018

The project was coordinated by the Department of Aquatic Ecology/Faculty of Biology in cooperation with the Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU), both located at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.