Research performed in the Laboratory of freshwater ecosystems is focused not only on fish and crayfish but also on studying the ecology of macrozoobenthos (organisms associated with bottom substrate in both lotic and lentic ecosystems, such as larvae of aquatic insect, small crustaceans and molluscs, oligochaetes, etc.). This research involves the sampling of the organisms in natural water environments, and empirical and analytical estimation of environmental conditions (e.g. composition of the bottom substrate, chemical-physical water parameters, concentrations of xenobiotics, etc.), followed by detailed identification of sampled organisms based on their morphology. Relationships between estimated environmental gradients and composition of species, as well as their specific traits, are analysed using statistical methods which are commonly used for example within "community ecology". This process can help us understand how biota reacts to changes in natural ecosystems. We also run behavioural and toxicological experiments with aquatic invertebrates captured in natural habitats in controlled conditions of our laboratories.
Author: Ing. Marek Let