Lakes and Reservoirs. Hot spots and Hot Topics in Limnology

Organized by: Faculty of Biology

17-20 September 2019

In September 2019, an international conference: "Lakes and Reservoirs. Hot spots and Hot Topics in Limnology" was held.

It was organized by: Department of Water Protection AMU, Polish Limnological Society and Romanian Limnogeographical Society. The main aim of the conference, was to facilitate scientific dialogue and experience exchange concerning the functioning and protection of freshwater ecosystems.

The conference brought together nearly 100 scientists from Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia. It consisted of 8 thematic sessions devoted to topics ranging from the functioning of heated lakes, issues related to phytoplankton blooms including toxic cyanobacteria, restoration of lakes and reservoirs and the response of aquatic ecosystems to human impact. During the poster session 40 papers were presented. At final statement participants emphasized, that lakes, reservoirs and wetlands provide a rich diversity of species and habitats, and serve as a pivotal resource of human survival.

At the same time, they are vulnerable to human-driven or human-stimulated processes such as eutrophication or climate change, and currently face multiple stressors. Today, the freshwater biodiversity is experiencing dramatic loss and the water pollution and overexploitation of water resources are recognized as one of the main causes.

The increase in water consumption and the overlapping global warming has resulted in a shrinking or total disappearance of ponds, lakes and wetlands. This highlights that protection of freshwater biodiversity should be prioritized in terms of effective policy solutions.

Water scarcity is associated with hunger, poor socioeconomic settings and the spread of disease due to a low level of sanitation. Ongoing climate changes not only cause shortages and droughts in some areas but also induce floods in others, altering global patterns of water availability.

As forecasted, climate change and human-driven eutrophication will likely result in an increase in the frequency of harmful algal blooms, further contributing to the deterioration of water quality and its use. There is no doubt that protection of freshwater is an enormous challenge that requires immediate action on a multifaceted level.