(Co)investigator from the Department: 
Funding provider: 
The Czech Science Foundation
2018 to 2020
Project description: 

Lack of data on freshwater communities in heavy-metal polluted post-industrial sites seriously hampers restoration efforts that should reflect their potential importance for biodiversity conservation. At the same time, artificially created standing water bodies in fly ash lagoons offer unique nature laboratories for studying the effects of stressors on communities.

We study conservation value and ecology of communities of these sites by combining a landscape-scale field survey with field enclosure experiments and analyses of heavy metal content across trophic levels and taxa. We aim to provide the first detailed survey of freshwater communities in these habitats, compare them with communities in nearby unpolluted sites in sandpit pools, and quantify the effects of heavy metal pollutants on individuals. This will enable us to unravel key stressors that shape these communities, provide evidence-based recommendations for their restoration, and contribute to the broad understanding of biodiversity in man-made habitats. (The project runs in collaboration with Robert Tropek from the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences.)