Development and evaluation of a phytoplankton based Index of Biotic Integrity (P-IBI) to assess the ecological conditions of rivers - a case study for the Kielstau catchment

Phytoplankton (mainly planktonic algae) constitutes the autochthonous primary

producers in aquatic ecosystems and is the basis of the food web for other organisms
that any changes affected the biotic integrity of the algal community may impact
higher trophic levels as well. Phytoplankton community has shorter regeneration time
and life cycle, allowing the community to respond quickly to environmental changes.
Therefore, phytoplankton community was used as bio-indicator to assess the
ecological conditions of  rivers. My research project covers a range of topics within
stream ecology and mainly includes three parts as follows: 

  •  Distribution of phytoplankton in a German lowland river in relation to

environmental factors

  • Development of a phytoplankton index  of biotic integrity (P-IBI) for a

German lowland river- the Kielstau catchment 

  • Predictive modeling of  riverine chlorophyll  a dynamics by different models

(e.g. SWAT, ANN, PLS)