Fraunhofer IME: Workshop »Food web on ice«

Applied Ecology /

© Fraunhofer IME
© Fraunhofer IME
© Fraunhofer IME

The Project

In a project funded by the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) and carried out by Fraunhofer IME, an advanced concept is applied to investigate the accumulation of substances in an exemplary freshwater food web.
The general aim is to support the regulatory risk assessment of bioaccumulating chemicals. For this purpose, organisms were sampled from different trophic levels of Lake Templin, a part of the Havel River near Berlin.
The innovative idea is to collect enough biota samples to investigate the accumulation of substances in the food web and to determine trophic magnification factors (TMFs) of a large number of substances in a comparative way. The final set of plankton, mussel and fish samples stored at ultra-low temperatures makes up the »Food web on ice«.


The Workshop

The »Food web on ice« project was introduced to the scientific community by researchers from Fraunhofer IME, Umweltbundesamt and project partners during an online workshop on March 16/17, 2021.

Examples from other studies on trophic magnification presented by scientists from Italy and France provided a broader picture. An invited keynote presentation on TMF research built the basis for the scientific exchange.

About 75 scientists from regulatory agencies, research institutes and industry participated in the workshop. Participants came from 12 countries including Canada and the USA.

Workshop discussions focused on:

  • practical aspects of sampling and sample preparation
  • the applicability of TMF studies to certain groups of chemicals
  • the relevance of biotransformation of chemicals for TMF studies
  • the potential of this approach for future chemical risk assessment (higher tier assessment).