The Interuniversity Centre for Aquatic Ecosystem Research, WasserCluster Lunz Biologische Station GmbH (WCL), is located on the shore of Lake Lunz („Lunzer See“) in the south of the Austrian province of Lower Austria. It is an interdisciplinary freshwater research center and designed to advance and teach freshwater science. WasserCluster Lunz is an independent research institute, with close ties to three Universities (University of Vienna, University of Natural Resources (BOKU) and Applied Life Sciences, Danube University Krems). Currently four working groups are located at WCL, covering research on biogeochemistry, biodiversity & conservation, microbial ecology, food webs, ecotoxicology and restoration ecology.
Experimentation Observation WCL performs process-based research on aquatic ecosystems. WCL has excellent experimental facilities, and is participant of the H2020 project AQUACOSM, therein contributing four experimental mesocosm facilities (https://www.aquacosm.eu/mesocosm/lunz-mesocosm-infrastructure-lmi/). WCL performs long-term monitoring of Lake Lunz and is member of the global lake observation network gleon (http://gleon.org/).
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
Research addresses lakes and running waters, including Lake Lunz and its watershed. The location of the WCL provides an excellent opportunity to study the ecological processes in an ecosystem (terrestrial and aquatic) which is nearly undisturbed by human impacts. Especially the aquatic ecosystems “Lunzer See” (ecosystem lake) and “Oberer Seebach” (ecosystem catchment) are closed by the WCL and are equipped with measurement instruments in a very high quality. Moreover, WKL has a fully equipped laboratory for a lot of biochemical analyses regarding the aquatic research objectives. Four working groups with different research objectives in aquatic systems are established: AQUASCALE - Aquatic Biodiversity across temporal and spatial scales (R. Ptacnik) BIGER - Biogeochemistry and Ecohydrology of Riverine Landscapes (G Weigelhofer) ECOCATCH - Stream Ecology and Catchment Biogeochemistry (J Schelker) LIPTOX - Aquatic Lipid Research and Ecotoxicology (M Kainz)