Paleolimnology is getting more and more important in our daily work since the need of information from the past is crucial for several reasons. To name the most important:
- Ecological rehabilitation projects need a starting point. This is the, so called, reference situation. The situation you can use as the point of depart. In most cases this should be the natural or near to natural situation. The Water Framework Directive asks explicitly for a description of this situations in terms of chemical and physical composition of water bodies and the corresponding flora and fauna (biological quality element).
- Research concerning climatic change is another important topic that leans heavily on information from the past.
At the moment we are working on broads in the vicinity of Loosdrecht, just south of Amsterdam in the Netherland to reconstruct the development of a broad that was formed after peat-digging in the past centuries. In this project we use the remains of diatoms, blue and green algae, Cladocera and macro-invertebrates. An other actual project is the reconstruction of the former invertebrate fauna and diatom flora in natural lowland streams in the Netherlands
We like to look at two older projects in more detail, since they are rather outstanding in place (river) or group investigated (desmids).
The first project concerns the Rhine and its past invertebrate fauna.The second project is about desmids and acidification of softwater moorland pools.