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Historical patterns of anthropogenic impacts on freshwaters in the Berlin-Brandenburg region

  • Since humans are preferentially settling in flood plains they often influence freshwater systems intensely. The first signs of anthropogenic impacts on surface waters in the Berlin-Brandenburg region are approximately 3000 years old. Considering the multiple and intense human uses of surface waters in this region, we analysed when, how and to which extent regional rivers and streams became impacted by dams, water mills and fish weirs resulting in changes in morphology, hydrology and ecological functioning. We hypothesise that the development and growth of cities in this region necessitated (1) efficient navigability of rivers linking them, (2) efficient use of hydropower resources for mills, and (3) significant pollution of surface waters especially with the beginning of industrial development. We analyse these hypotheses by means of three regional examples and delineate the effects of human uses on selected surface water bodies. Understanding the effects of these historic modifications of surface water supports the identification of options for a sustainable use of surface waters that are currently still subjected to multiple uses but face a significant decrease in discharge due to climate change.

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Author:Gunnar Nützmann, Christian Wolter, Markus Venohr, Martin Pusch
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2012/02/22
Release Date:2012/02/22
Tag:Fischerei; Industrialisierung; Region Berlin-Brandenburg; Wassermanagement
GND Keyword:Klimaänderung; Ökosystem; Wasser
Source:Global change : challenges for regional water resources (Die Erde : Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin ; 142, 1-2). Berlin, S. 41-64
Institutes:BBAW / Interdisziplinäre Arbeitsgruppe Globaler Wandel
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Schriftenreihen in Einzelbeiträgen:BBAW / Materialien der Interdisziplinären Arbeitsgruppen und Initiativen / Global change : challenges for regional water resources