from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Limnology ( ancient Greek λίμνη limne , German , Lake ' and -logie ) is the science of inland waters as ecosystems , their structure, fabric and energy management and bio-ecological structure and function, she explores and their abiotic and biotic processes they quantify searches . Inland waters include stagnant bodies of water such as ponds , ponds, and lakes with no connection to oceans , rivers, and bodies of groundwater . In addition to freshwater ecosystems, saltwater inland water systems (e.g. the Dead Sea ) are also part of the limnology.

The position of limnology in the field of natural sciences

Limnology is traditionally a branch of ecology , alongside oceanology , which deals with marine ecosystems, and epirology , which deals with terrestrial habitats (the term epirology , however, is very uncommon). The demarcation between limnology and oceanography is not clear, since the estuary areas are part of both limnic waters and maritime systems. Limnology is sometimes viewed as a branch of hydrology and thus also belongs to the geosciences (Schwoerbel, 1993):

Limnology in its position in the natural sciences according to De Haar (1974), modified.
Natural sciences Mathematical Sciences
Basic science
chemistry physics
earth sciences Engineering Sciences
Hydrosphere the atmosphere Lithosphere Extraterr. sphere synthesis
meteorology Geology / geophysics astronomy physical geography

Limnology has historically been divided into two directions, in which

  1. theoretical limnology and the
  2. applied limnology.

As such, they were anchored in the name of the "International Association for Theoretical and Applied Limnology" (IVL / SIL; today International Society of Limnology ) by its founders Einar Naumann (1891-1934) and August Thienemann . However, both directions are closely interlinked so that a clear separation of the two directions is not always possible. In general, the task of theoretical limnology can be described as that which researches and represents the system properties of waters. This, in turn, is the basis of every applied limnology. Theoretical limnology is divided into general and special limnology. General limnology deals with water ecology. It is this

  • the ecologically relevant properties of the water,
  • the physiological ecology of freshwater organisms,
  • the limnic population ecology,
  • the basics of material balance and production biology,
  • the degradation and cycle of matter in inland waters,
  • the characterization of the load conditions and
  • the trophy and saprobia (Schönborn, 2003).

The special limnology researches the limnic habitats with the help of the knowledge of the general limnology. These include:

A sub-research area of ​​limnology specifically covers the microbes - aquatic fungi, heterotrophic flagellates , ciliates , bacterio and virioplankton - of the waters, especially inland waters, and is called limnomicrobiology .

The most important topics of applied limnology include wastewater treatment , water treatment , water pollution , water protection and water maintenance . Other areas of application of limnology are fishery biology and the regulation of organic production in natural and man-made waters.

To the history of origin

According to Hans-Joachim Elster (1974) and Steleanu (1989), the history of limnology goes back about 100 years. Although numerous studies on aquatic organisms were carried out as early as the 17th and 18th centuries, the relationship to water was completely absent. Limnology developed only slowly from this hydrobiological forerunner. The Swiss physician and scientist François-Alphonse Forel took the decisive step from hydrobiology to limnology in Lausanne. Forel examined Lake Geneva not only biologically, but also physically and chemically. He was also the first to express thoughts about lake types.

He called his field of work limnology. His investigations appeared as a three-volume work Le Léman. Monographie limnologique between 1892 and 1904. In 1901 his handbook of seology was published. General Limnology published.

One of the co-founders of limnology is the American Stephen Alfred Forbes , who published a work in 1887 with the title The lake as a microcosm . In this work material cycles and biological reasons are already described.

In addition to the official founders, there is also an unknown previous founder: Friedrich Junge , a village school teacher from Kiel, published a paper in 1885 with the title The village pond as a community .

Stimulated by Forel's work, limnology quickly established itself and led to the formation of the first limnological stations. The most important limnological stations included:

In 1911 Edward Asahel Birge and Chancey Juday published their results, which they had obtained on North American lakes. Based on their studies of the oxygen distribution in the depths of the lakes, they were able to identify two types of lakes:

  1. Lakes whose deep water is always rich in oxygen
  2. Lakes whose deep water is always poor in oxygen

In Germany it was August Thienemann who noticed that the lakes in the different regions of Germany differed in their fish fauna, the composition of the plankton and the deep fauna . In 1915, like Birge and Juday, he found out that the differences resulted primarily from the most ecologically effective factor, the oxygen content of the deep water.

In 1918 Einar Naumann investigated the plant content of the plankton (phytoplankton) in the surface water of the lakes in Sweden . Naumann concluded from his observations that lakes rich in plankton must have many plant nutrients, while those poor in phytoplankton have few. Accordingly, there are nutrient-poor and nutrient-rich lakes. He described a nutrient-poor lake as oligotrophic and a nutrient-rich lake as eutrophic .

Franz Ruttner (Station Lunz) and Wilhelm Halbfaß are further classics . Ruttner's investigations focused on the conductivity of the water in the lakes, the carbon assimilation of aquatic plants, the carbonic acid cycle and the nature of tropical lakes. His main work Grundriss der Limnologie (1940) is still considered a standard work today. Half barrel dealt with the geographic, morphological and hydrographic properties as well as the chemical constituents of the lakes (Müller-Navarra, 2005). Halbfass published his main work Basics of Comparative Seology in 1923 (Schönborn, 2003).

In addition to lake limnology, river research was developed, which was particularly funded by the Swiss Friedrich Zschokke , Paul Steinmann , Robert Lauterborn and August Thienemann . The focus was on questions about the existence of a river plankton, the search for glacial relics in the flora and fauna of mountain streams and the pollution of rivers. Running waters have long been used as receiving waters for sewage. Due to increasing pollution, river research has been intensified. Around 1900 Richard Kolkwitz and Maximilian Marsson developed the saprobic system to assess sewage polluted rivers. At the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, sewage biology developed from running water biology . Hans Liebmann revised the saprobic system in 1951 and 1962.

Important professional societies

Important international societies of limnology are the International Society of Limnology, founded in Europe in 1922, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, founded in North America in 1947 . The German Society for Limnology , which was founded in 1984, is particularly active in the German-speaking region and is also strongly practice-oriented .



  • A. Baumgartner, H.-J. Liebscher: Textbook of Hydrology, Volume 1: General Hydrology, Quantitative Hydrology. Borntraeger Verlag, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-443-30001-4 .
  • W.-K. Besch, A. Hamm, B. Lenhard: Applied environmental protection. Limnology for Practice. Basics of water protection. 2nd Edition. Ecomed Verlagsgesellschaft, Landsberg 1985, ISBN 3-609-65630-1 .
  • HJ Elster: History of Limnology. In: Communication int. Ver. Limnol. 20/1974, pp. 7-30.
  • G. Gunkel: Renaturation of small rivers. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-334-61030-6 .
  • M. Hut: Ecology and hydraulic engineering. Parey Verlag, Berlin, 2000, ISBN 3-8263-3285-7 .
  • R. Kummert, W. Stumm: Waters as ecosystems. Basics of water protection. Vdf Hochschulverlag AG, ETH Zurich 1985, ISBN 3-7281-1886-9 .
  • Winfried Lampert , Ulrich Sommer : Limnoecology. 2., revised. Edition. Georg Thieme, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-13-786402-X .
  • Hans Miegel: Practical Limnology. Diesterweg Salle Sauerländer, 223 pages, 1981, ISBN 978-3425056111 , (pdf 70 MB)
  • SH Müller-Navarra: A forgotten chapter from lake research - Wilhelm Halbfaß (1856–1938), internal Seiches and the Madüsee (Jezioro Miedwie). (= Forum of the History of Science. 1). m-press, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-89975-540-5 .
  • W. Schönborn, U. Risse-Buhl: Textbook of Limnology. 2., completely revised Edition. E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagbuchhandlung (Nägele and Obermiller), Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-510-65275-4 .
  • J. Schwoerbel, H. Brendelberger : Introduction to Limnology. 9th edition. Spectrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-8274-1498-9 .
  • J. Schwoerbel: Methods of Hydrobiology. 4th edition. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8001-2610-9 .
  • A. Steleanu: History of Limnology and its Basics. Verlag Haag and Herchen, 1989, ISBN 3-89228-339-7 .
  • RG Wetzel: Limnology - 3rd edition. Academic Press, 2001, ISBN 0-12-744760-1 .
  • Josef Merkt: On the limnology of the Steinhuder Meer . [Much. maschr. Ms.] Courier Research Inst. Senckenberg, No. 37, Frankfurt am Main 1979, pp. 59-62.

Limnological journals and periodicals

  • M. Boersma, W. Lampert (Eds.): Fundamental and Applied Limnology. Swiss beard, Stuttgart. ISSN  1863-9135 . This journal was published from 1906 to December 31, 2006 by the same publisher under the title Archive for Hydrobiology (various eds.).
  • R. Cereghino (Ed.): Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology. Masson & Cie, Paris. ISSN  0003-4088
  • Everett J. Fee (Ed.): Limnology and Oceanography. In: Journal of the American Soc. of Limnology and Oceanography. Allen Press, Lawrence Kansas. ISSN  0024-3590
  • Klement Tockner (Ed.): Aquatic sciences . Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel. ISSN  1015-1621
  • Federal Institute for Hydrology (Hrsg.): Deutsche Gewässerkundliche Mitteilungen . Self-published, Koblenz.
  • Federal Research Center for Fisheries (Ed.): Archive for Fishery Science, Hamburg. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.
  • C. den Hartob, JM A Brown (Ed.): Aqutic botany. Elsevier Science Publ., Amsterdam.
  • R. Koschel (Ed.): Limnologica. Elsevier Science Publ. Amsterdam. ISSN  0075-9511
  • William M. Lewis, Jr. (Eds.): Limnology and Oceanography Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
  • K. Pasternak (Ed.): Acta Hydrobiologica. Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe Verlag, Warszawa-Kraków.
  • J. Poly (Ed.): Annales d'Hydrogéologie. INRA, Versailles.
  • CR Townsend, AG Hildrew: Freshwater Biology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
  • BA Wajnschtjn (Ed.): Biologija Wnutrennich Wod. Informazionnyj Bjulleten. Isdatelstvo <<Nauka>>, Leningrad.
  • Ed. J. Watson: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science. Office of the editor, Ottawa.

Web links

Wiktionary: Limnology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Robert Guderian, Günter Gunkel: Handbook of environmental changes and ecotoxicology. Volume 3: Aquatic Systems. Springer, 2000, p. 1.