I am Professor Meryem Beklioğlu, and under my leadership, the Limnology Laboratory and Ecosystem Research and Implementation Centre (EKOSAM) at METU explore the ecological structure, function, and diversity of lake and pond ecosystems, which are hotspots for maintaining biodiversity, ecosystem functions and processes. Our research aims to understand the impact of global changes (e.g., climate change, land and water uses, eutrophication, salinization, brownification) on lake and pond ecosystems through funding obtained from international (EU-Framework and Horizon 2020) and national projects. The impact of these drivers was investigated using multiple approaches on-land and in-situ mesocosm experimental systems to develop a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem processes (Please see METU-Mesocosms System I and II). Long-term ecological monitoring has also been employed in our research, providing high temporal resolution. When combined with the "space for time substitute" approach, the increased spatial resolution allows for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of global changes on ecosystem structure, function, and diversity. Modeling and paleoecology approaches are also implemented in our research when necessary.

    In all these different research approaches, we focus on horizontal and vertical community structures, including the microbial loop (bacteria, heterotrophic phytoplankton, ciliate), phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic plants, and fish biomass. Their taxonomic diversity, as well as functional diversity, are currently under investigation in my laboratory to develop an understanding of how resilient lake and pond ecosystems can be in the face of global changes while maintaining ecosystem functions and processes.

    The restoration of lakes and ponds using natural-based solutions to maintain a high ecological state with clear water and high biodiversity, developing resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change, has also been a primary focus of my research. Restoration through biomanipulation and follow-up monitoring programs has been undertaken for more than 20 years in local lakes. Lately, we are interested in pond restoration, recreation, and management based on the principles of nature-based solutions as ponds support up to 70% of the regional freshwater species pool. They also support a larger proportion of rare, endemic and threatened species than lakes and rivers.

Professor Meryem Beklioğlu

Leader of Limnology laboratory

Head of EKOSAM

SIL Vice President

Last Updated:
05/02/2024 - 15:48