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Research Group Füreder

Research Topic

High Arctic River Ecology

Research Interest

We are studying the biogeography, biodiversity and biocomplexity of aquatic organisms and communities in cold lotic ecosystems. We investigate high arctic river ecosystems, their biodiversity, ecosystem structure and function in a large variety of running waters (glacial runoff, spring-fed, lake outlet, nutrient enriched) and model potential effects from climate and/or environmental change upon these understudied ecosystems.By studying high arctic freshwater organisms, their distribution and adaptations to the harsh climatic conditions, we intend to a) increase the knowledge of biodiversity in high arctic freshwater ecosystems, b) elucidate ecosystem structure and function (aquatic food webs, stable isotope analysis) and inter-relationships with climate and other environmental variables. Our research interest includes the role running waters play as they provide an important link between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and integrate catchment-scale processes, involving a set of physical, chemical and biological variables that are affected by climate and environmental change.

Mag. Dr. Leopold Füreder

River Ecology and Conservation Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck



  • Georg Niedrist, PhD Student (University of Innsbruck)
  • Steffan Schütz, Master student (University of Innsbruck)
  • Collaborator: John Brittain, University of Oslo, Norway

Selected Publications

  • Coulson, S.J., Convey, P., Aakra, K., Aarvik, L., Ávila-Jiménez, M.L., Babenko, A., Biersma, E., Boström, S., Brittain, J.E.., Carlsson, A., Christoffersen, K.S., De Smet, W.H., Ekrem, T., Fjellberg, A., Füreder, L. Gustafsson, D., Gwiazdowicz, D.J.,  Hansen, L.O., Hullé, L., Kaczmarek, L.,  Kolicka, M., Kuklin, V., Lakka, H-K., Lebedeva, N., Makarova, O., Maraldo, K., Melekhina, E., Ødegaard, F., Pilskog, H.E., Simon, J.C., Sohlenius, B., Solhøy, T., Søli, G., Stur, E., Tanasevitch, A., Taskaeva, A., Velle, G. , Zawierucha, K., Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, K. (2014): The terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate biodiversity of the archipelagoes of the Barents Sea; Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. –Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68: 440-470.
  • Füreder, L. (2012): Freshwater Ecology: Melting Biodiversity. – Nature Climate Change 2: 318-319.
  • Cantonati M., Füreder L., Gerecke R., JüttnerI., Eileen J. Cox E.J. (2012): Crenic habitats, hotspots for freshwater biodiversity conservation: toward an understanding of their ecology. Freshwater Science, 31, (2012), 463-480.
  • Füreder, L. (2007): Life at the Edge: Habitat Condition and Bottom Fauna of Alpine Running Waters. International Journal of Hydrobiology, 92: 491-513.
  • Jackson, J.K.; Füreder, L. (2006): Long-term studies of aquatic invertebrates: frequency, duration, and ecological significance. Freshwater Biology 51, 591-603.


  • HASTE – High Arctic Stream Ecology (collaboration with University of Oslo, Norwegian Polar Institute, 2009-2012). PI Leopold Füreder.
  • PROSECCO.ALPS – Proglacial stream ecohydrology and climate change over the Alps (Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2010 – 2013). PI Leopold Füreder
  • Freshwater monitoring NationalparkHohe Tauern (NationalparkHohe Tauern, 2009 – long-term). PI Leopold Füreder