Pollution of freshwater resources becomes an issue in virtually every country undergoing an industrialization process. While the main emphasis has been for many years on lakes due to their limited capacity of self-renewal, streams and rivers attract increasing attention due to their importance for agriculture, fisheries, drinking water reserves and as feeder of freshwater lakes and reservoirs. There are many factors influencing the ecology of streams, only some of them relating to direct anthropogenic influences and it is important to have reliable long term data on natural occurring variations in order to better estimate the `default’ status of a stream and to judge the influence of modern anthropogenic influences.
The Breitenbach is one of the best-studied streams on earth, as the nearby Max-Planck Outstation in Schlitz was founded in 1949 and scientists there have been collecting data ever since.
Central European Stream Ecosystems: The Long Term Study of the Breitenbach is the result of this research, and special focus has been placed on animal and microorganism occurrence and variation as well as chemical and physical parameters. Already this data influences the discussion of the `good ecological state’ reference values and it will be in particular useful to analyze the effect of global warming on the ecology of streams.
An invaluable data basis for modeling purposes, this important book is a useful resource for everyone in the world dealing with stream ecology, for example limnologists, ecologists, biologists and hydrologists.
Rudiger Wagner was scientific assistant at the Limnologische Fluss-Station Schlitz, a field station of the former Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology (now MPI for Evolutionary Biology) from 1978 to 2006. He obtained his scientific degrees from the Justus-Liebig-University (Gie?en, Germany). Since then he is at the Institut of Biology, Univeristy of Kassel. He has authored over 250 scientific publication on aquatic insect taxonomy and ecology and on the analysis of long-term ecological data of freshwater insects. He is member of advisory boards and reviewer of professional journals, referee of universities and governments and has been honorary member of advisory councils in nature conservation. In 2007 he was awarded the 'Meigen Medaille' of the German Society for General and Applied Entomology.
Jurgen Marxsen was scientific assistant at the Limnologische Fluss-Station Schlitz, a field station of the former Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology (now MPI for Evolutionary Biology) from 1977 to 2006. He obtained his scientific degrees from the University of Kiel. Since 2006 at the Department of Animal Ecology associated to the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ) at the University of Giessen. His research activities include stream and groundwater microbial ecology, particularly the role of bacteria in the carbon flow, bacterial production, extra-cellular enzyme activity, application of molecular techniques to microbial ecology, impact of climatic change on running water microbial communities. He is member of editorial boards and ad-hoc referee for scientific journals and national funding organizations.
Since 1968 Peter Zwick was member of the staff of the Limnologische Fluss-Station Schlitz, a field station of the former Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology (now MPI for Evolutionary Biology) and was the scientific head from 1982 to 2006. He obtained his scientific degrees from the University of Kiel. P. Zwick is a world authority in Plecoptera (stone-flies), and other groups of aquatic insects. For his studies he was awarded the `Fabricius Medaille? of the German Society for General and Applied Entomology (1982). His research activities include among many others the general biology of aquatic insects including aspects of phylogeny, ecology and physiology. He was editor of scientific journals, member of editorial boards and an referee of many scientific journals, funding organizations and more.
Eileen Cox was a Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-funded research fellow at the Limnologische Fluss-Station Schlitz from 1985 to 1988, and a scientific assistant there from 1988 to 1989. She obtained her degrees from the University of Bristol (England). Between 1989 and 1992, she was a researcher at the University of Sheffield (England), a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London since 1992, and Head of Postgraduate Studies at the NHM since 2007. She has authored over 100 research publications, with a particular focus on diatom taxonomy, systematics, ecology and development. She is a past-president of the British Phycological Society and of the International Society for Diatom Research, a former Editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Phycology, and has held other key positions on the councils of learned societies. She has reviewed extensively for scientific journals and grant awarding bodies.