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Freshwater ecology

Research group Our research in freshwater ecology covers a very broad range of topics. We study processes at the levels of the individual organism, the population, the community, and the ecosystem to address both very general ecological questions as well as specific questions of fundamental and applied importance to the understanding and management of lakes and streams.

Major research topics include the study of:

(i) the impacts of population size structure on individual performance and the dynamics of consumer-resource and food web interactions;

(ii) the importance of organismic elemental composition (C:N:P stoichiometry) for individual life history, and for the dynamics of communities and ecosystems;

(iii) the influence of spatial processes (e.g. spatial gradients in resource flux; movement of organisms and matter across habitat boundaries) on community structure and dynamics;

(iv) ecological factors driving trait evolution and speciation;

(v) the influence of biodiversity on community structure and ecosystem function;

(vi) the influence of climate change on the abiotic environment, species ranges, and species interactions.

Our research combines mathematical and conceptual modelling with experimental, observational and comparative studies at different temporal and spatial scales.

Contact person

Pär Byström
Associate professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Research area


Research projects

Higher methane emissions from northern streams and rivers

Northern freshwaters release more methane than expected, a study published in Nature shows.

Latest update: 2021-01-21