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Subject areas 

  • Protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems 
  • Ecology of freshwater biodiversity 
  • Impacts of multiple pressures on freshwater ecosystems 
  • Monitoring and development of indicators (Water Framework Directive & Habitats Directive) 
  • Management of harmful algal blooms 
  • Restoring free-flowing rivers and connectivity with riparian zones 
  • Experimental work at NIVAs flume and mesocosm facilities 

An increasing degree of conflict is associated with how we use our freshwater resources and land areas. As a consequence, freshwater ecosystems, and the services they provide, are under pressure in Norway, and internationally. 

We examine freshwaters at the scale of whole catchment areas, across Norway, and Europe-wide, to evaluate environmental status and trends in rivers and lakes. We carry out experiments in natural environments and in flume and mesocosm facilities, to understand ecosystem responses to multiple, interacting pressures. We apply our knowledge and understanding to find sustainable solutions to preserve and restore freshwater ecosystems and their diversity. 

The sections develop and apply new technologies, including environmental DNA (eDNA), drones, Artificial Intelligence-based modelling and planning and citizen science to enhance the coverage, frequency and quality of our monitoring and to develop and optimise management approaches. We are engaged with society and industry in seeking solutions to adapt to climate change, that at the same time safeguard ecosystem services and freshwater biodiversity.