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Micro-organisms and macro-organisms living in water bodies constitute one interacting system with the riparian flora and fauna (the adjacent terrestrial ecosystems). Thus, changes in the physical structures of rivers or canals influence the entire ecological system.

Ecology became a division in its own rights in the BfG's organizational set-up because of its high socio-political ranking. There it studies not only the causes and impacts of ecological changes in and along federal waterways, but also identifies ways to minimize or compensate possible detrimental impacts.

Illustration of the range of tasks in the field of ecology in the BfGEcology in the BfG

To answer complex ecological questions it is not enough to examine only the beds of rivers or canals. We need a holistic and impact-oriented system approach to develop environmental compatibility studies (Environmental Impact Assessments – EIA), project-accompanying landscaping plans or comprehensive environmental concepts for waterways and their environs.

For this particular reason, the division Ecology attaches great importance to interdisciplinary co-operation with all other divisions and departments. Only by combining the data on abiotic phenomena with biological and chemical findings can it reach a truly ecological approach.

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