Operator: WasserCluster Lunz – Biologische Station GmbH
DEIMS Database: Lunz
Contact: Thomas Hein, Martin Kainz, Hannes Hager
The Lunzer See/Seebach (Lower Austria) LTER site is operated by the WasserCluster Lunz – Biologische Station GmbH and serves as a long-term research and monitoring area. The site aims to achieve a better understanding of ecosystem causal relationships and of the interactions between fundamental processes in aquatic ecosystems. The WasserCluster Lunz is an inter-university center for research into aquatic ecosystems and water-related research issues, founded by the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, and the Danube University in Krems. The WasserCluster Lunz is funded by the Federal counties of Lower Austria and Vienna and by the Federal Ministry of Science and Research. The long-term research program initiated by WasserCluster Lunz, ExtremAqua, investigates in detail the consequences of extreme weather events and climatic changes, e.g. on the nutritional flows in waters, the carbon dioxide cycle and its release into the atmosphere as well as effects on biodiversity within the aquatic environments. Long-term research is in this situation the only option to attain a comprehensive understanding of the likely changes underway in these relationships and processes. At national level, the ExtremAqua research program and the WasserCluster Lunz are spatially and institutionally embedded within the Eisenwurzen research platform. This is one of the two centers for long-term socio-ecological research in Austria, the other being the “High Alps” in the Tyrolean Alps.
Numerous institutions that are engaged with basic research, ecosystem research and monitoring and socioeconomic research currently belong to the Eisenwurzen platform. In the international context, Lunzer See is the first lake in Austria to become a member site within the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON; http://www.gleon.org). This membership marks the beginning of joint measurement programs together with international partners and thus creates the basis for continual carbon measurement in lakes. An aim is to strengthen the role of the WasserCluster Lunz as initiator of carbon measurement in lakes through international cooperation. Existing research cooperation with universities and non-university research institutions provides an important basis for this. In terms of measurement technology, the Lunzer See/Seebach site is a highly equipped landscape ecology catchment area and represents a typical as well as very natural site within the Northern Limestone Alps. Online measurements of carbon dioxide, oxygen and methane in Seebach, in Lunzer See and in the atmosphere enable high temporal resolution analysis of the exchange processes. The weather records at the Biological Station climate monitoring station extend back to 1898 and complete records are available from 1926 onwards.