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In progress: Basque study on urban pollution effects on fauna and ecosystem functioning

A few days ago, our Basque colleagues conducted a runoff water sampling as the necessary meteorological conditions finally came together for their studies! This experiment focuses on studying the impact of urban pollution on fauna and ecosystem functioning.

Using gammarids (Echinogammarus berilloni) in four different treatments, they alternated between freshly fallen rainwater and runoff water from a heavily trafficked road. Additionally, they introduced leaf litter from alders from both a natural and an urban environment.

This study will measure different variables, ranging from the respiration, growth, and mortality of the gammarids, to the decomposition of the leaf litter as an approximation of ecosystem functions. Furthermore, the expression of different stress-indicating genes will be explored.