The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) is one of seven institutes within the Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment at the University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). The institute consists of an interdisciplinary group of aquatic ecologists, landscape ecologists, river engineers, biogeochemists and historians organised in seven working groups. Our staff includes six permanent scientists, 30 PhD candidates and post-docs, and three technical and administrative staff members. The institute’s research deals with the functions, processes, and structures of aquatic ecosystems and their environment, with a focus on hydromorphological dynamics, nutrient cycles, food chains, habitat demands, biotic interactions, aquaculture and fishery.
IHG has played a key role in the Europe-wide development and implementation of WFD compliant assessments for rivers, and has coordinated and participated in numerous EU-funded projects, especially in FP5, FP6, FP7 and H2020. Currently IHG is involved in the MARS project (FP7) evaluating the impact of multiple stressors on European freshwaters. Moreover, IHG has also participated in the EU INTERREG/REGIONAL FUND projects SEE HydroPower (South East Europe) and AIM – Alpine space In Movement (Alpine Space) with the goal to summarise state-of-the-art freshwater research to be then transferred to policy actors and decision makers. Other research projects include work in Asia and Africa.
In AQUACROSS, BOKU-IHG leads WP4, Drivers of Change and Pressures on Aquatic Ecosystems. BOKU-IHG also coordinates and manages the Danube case study, “Danube River Basin – harmonising inland, coastal and marine ecosystem management to achieve aquatic biodiversity targets”. This case study includes the entire Danube catchment from its source to the delta, and involves contact with several institutions and stakeholders in the region. BOKU-IHG also supports work in WP5 (Causalities between Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functions and Services) through contributions to the analyses of causalities, WP6 (Information Platform) through contributions regarding freshwater-related data management and WP7 (Forecasting Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Provision). Moreover, BOKU-IHG contributes to AQUACROSS WP1 and 2 in terms of stakeholder engagement and policy orientation.