News from MARS and other projects
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Final conference of the EU research project MARS
»Managing multiple stress for multiple benefits in aquatic ecosystems«
15. - 18. January 2018, Brussels, Belgium.
Launch of Freshwater Information System - FIS
The Freshwater Information System (or FIS) is officially launched. The FIS provides an invaluable resource for water managers and environmental policy makers across Europe, hosting information on freshwater multiple stressors and pressures, future scenarios, models and management options.
Resources on the Freshwater Information System have been generated through research in MARS over the last 3 years. Part of the Freshwater Information Platform, the FIS provides an accessible introductory gateway to the complex topic of multiple stressor interactions and impacts on freshwater ecosystems.
The FIS factsheets, case studies and model selection tool provide up-to-date research to help water managers and policy makers effectively implement the EU Water Framework Directive.
Major update of the Freshwater Information Platform
September 2017. The Freshwater Information Platform – initiated and hosted by four leading European research institutes – has undergone a major update this week, two years after its launch.
The platform makes information from a large set of freshwater ecosystem research activities accessible to scientists, stakeholders and the wider public. It offers a forum for information exchange and open-access publishing of maps and data, and seeks to stimulate cutting-edge research and collaborations in the field.
In so doing, the Freshwater Information Platform provides a unique and comprehensive knowledge base for sustainable and evidence-based management of our threatened freshwater ecosystems and the resources they provide.
Existing sections of the platform including the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal, the Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas, the Freshwater Species Traits Database, and the Freshwater Metadata section, have been developed and updated.
New MARS metadata papers published in the Freshwater Metadata Journal
April 2016. Recently three more MARS teams have published information about their model catchments as metadata papers in the open access Freshwater Metadata Journal. In total characterising data of 7 European MARS river basins are now available in the Journal.
read more: Freshwater Metadata Journal
Stakeholder workshop Vienna, April 2016
Click to see more pictures from the event
Last week in Vienna, a group of around 60 river basin managers, Water Framework Directive officials, European Environment Agency representatives, external experts and MARS aquatic scientists met to discuss the key challenges for freshwater management and policy across Europe.
Central to the two days of discussions was the challenge of multiple pressures: the often unpredictable interactions between individual pressures on freshwaters, such as pollution, floods, droughts and river bank alterations. Despite growing awareness of the importance of multiple pressures, their joint impacts on aquatic ecosystems are not well understood, and as a result they are poorly reflected in existing River Basin Management Plans – the framework through which the Water Framework Directive is implemented in Europe.
Read more on FreshwaterBlog.net
One week of multiple stressors and freshwater life
March 7-11, 2016. The MARS mid-term meeting in Fulda, Germany, was joined by 90 scientists from 17 EU countries and also a guest scientist from New Zealand. A whole week of discussing and working together, talking about first project results and oncoming papers in multiple sessions and workshops.
Follow us on Twitter #marsfulda
Launch of the Freshwater Information Platform
May 6th, 2015
Four European research institutes have launched an online platform to make information from a large set of freshwater ecosystem research activities accessible to all. The Freshwater Information Platform offers a forum for information exchange and open-access publishing of maps and data, and aims to stimulate cutting-edge research and collaborations in the field. The Platform provides a unique and comprehensive knowledge base for sustainable and evidence-based management of our threatened freshwater ecosystems and the resources they provide.
It is currently funded by the MARS project.
Paper about freshwaterecology.info
A new paper is published about www.freshwaterecology.info – an online tool that unifies, standardises and codifies more than 20,000 European freshwater organisms and their ecological preferences. The tool is considered a service for basic research, applied scientists, water managers or other stakeholders. It serves as base for bioassessment and monitoring.
First MARS paper
Hering D, et al, Managing aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress — An introduction to the MARS project, Sci Total Environ (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.106
Managing aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress — An introduction to the MARS project
Water resources globally are affected by a complex mixture of stressors resulting from a range of drivers, including urban and agricultural land use, hydropower generation and climate change. Understanding how stressors interfere and impact upon ecological status and ecosystem services is essential for developing effective River Basin Management Plans and shaping future environmental policy. This paper details the nature of these problems for Europe's water resources and the need to find solutions at a range of spatial scales. In terms of the latter, we describe the aims and approaches of the EU-funded project MARS (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) and the conceptual and analytical framework that it is adopting to provide this knowledge, understanding and tools needed to address multiple stressors. MARS is operating at three scales: At the water body scale, the mechanistic understanding of stressor interactions and their impact upon water resources, ecological status and ecosystem services will be examined through multi-factorial experiments and the analysis of long time-series. At the river basin scale, modelling and empirical approaches will be adopted to characterise relationships between multiple stressors and ecological responses, functions, services and water resources. The effects of future land use and mitigation scenarios in 16 European river basins will be assessed. At the European scale, large-scale spatial analysis will be carried out to identify the relationships amongst stress intensity, ecological status and service provision, with a special focus on large transboundary rivers, lakes and fish. The project will support managers and policy makers in the practical implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), of related legislation and of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources by advising the 3rd River Basin Management Planning cycle, the revision of the WFD and by developing new tools for diagnosing and predicting multiple stressors.