Stream ecology at the river Leine in Göttingen

One-day course. The Leine is a small calcareous river that originates in Thuringia and after 281 km flows into the river Aller. For a long time, the river has been strongly disturbed by human alteration and is thus of only ‘moderate’ ecological quality. 

As part of a restoration and reactivation program initiated by the city of Göttingen, a typical stretch with an engineered channel cross section and stabilized banks was converted into a structurally diverse ecosystem with a more natural bank structure, islets, flats, and a variety of bottom substrates. It now harbours a richer flora and fauna and, because of broad, shallow banks, is much easier accessible.

Using the same methods as in the classic course “ecology of a mountain stream”, structural and organismic diversity of the restored section are compared to a section that is still in the heavily altered condition that is typical for rivers in Central Euorpe. Supplemented by physic-chemical measurements, these investigations are carried out partly in the field and partly in the lab using contemporary scientific methods and instruments. 

We also untangle the stream and channel system of the Leine in and around Göttingen, point out its historic development and discuss the peculiarities of urban river restoration programs.

Time of year: any time
Travel expenses: € 8 per person or use of own vehicles or public bus
Maximal number of participants: 23 with XLAB shuttle, otherwise 24