Period: Oct 01, 2020 - Oct 01, 2023
Status: laufend

Direct and indirect effects of herbicides and antibiotics on lotic periphyton/biofilm communities and their primary consumers.


Major questions:
1) How does structure and function of a natural periphyton changes during a chronic exposure towards herbicides and/or antibiotics (direct effects)?

2) Do we find any indirect effects towards grazer consuming contaminated biofilm? Do similar patterns appear regarding the direction of the effect in physiologically different grazers (Potamopyrgus antipodarum vs. Baetis rhodani)?

3) Can these effects be counteracted by adaption of periphyton to those stressors?

In lotic ecosystems, biofilms or periphyton are important contributors to primary production. Additionally, they are a hot spot of biodiversity, composed of algae, diatoms, fungi and bacteria. Chemical contamination (eg. runoff or wastewater) poses a risk for biofilm quantity and quality. The research challenges of this PhD project are: understanding the impact of herbicides and antibiotics on primary producers’ diversity, the consequences for the food quality of the biofilm for higher trophic levels, and further bottom-up or top-down effects.


Gebäude I, Raum 3.28
+49 (0) 6341 280-31328
bundschuh at


Building C1, Room 101e
+49 6341 28031309
oster at



Feckler, A., Rakovic, J., Kahlert, M., Tröger, R., & Bundschuh, M. (2018). Blinded by the light: Increased chlorophyll fluorescence of herbicide-exposed periphyton masks unfavorable structural responses during exposure and recovery. Aquatic Toxicology203, 187-193.


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