Freshwater Information Platform

25th of October 2016: Version 7.0 launched online!

We are happy to announce that version 7.0 went online. This new version includes several minor changes in the background to ensure user convenience.
The main innovation is the inclusion of trait information according to the work of Henri Tachet and colleagues (Tachet H., Bournaud M., Richoux P. & Usseglio-Polatera P. (2010): Invertébrés d'eau douce - systématique, biologie, écologie. CNRS Editions, Paris, 600 p.), resulting in Europe's most comprehensive trait collection for macro-invertebrates. We are grateful to Henri Tachet for giving permission to make these data available online and to Philippe Usseglio-Polatera for providing the data and the brief explanations for each of the traits!

27th July 2015: New registration process

To facilitate the registration process, we have now added a  registration site. Just enter your name, institute and research interests and you will be provided with a login and password within a few days.

6th of May 2015: Version 6.0 launched online

Version 6.0 of freshwaterecology.info offers - among others - the following new/additional features:

  • feature: ecological parameters are now accompanied by this icon. If you click on it you will get background information on the ecological parameter as well as on the classification system and the abbreviations used. Please note that you should allow pop-up windows to use this feature.
  • Directly below the each ecological parameter you will find the information for which higher systematic units it is available.
  • For the query of ecological parameters with more than one category to choose from, we have added the option to only display taxa complying with the selected category.
  • For a detailed overview on the current content, the numbers and percentages of assigned taxa (either ordered by parameter or by higher systematic unit) we created a new content overview page ( Content overview).
  • Macro-invertebrates: several new ecological parameters were added (e.g. small-scale geographical distribution information and forewing length for Trichoptera, acid class, rheo-index, rhithral and potamal preferences as well as a climate change vulnerability index).
  • For some taxa we added information regarding existing ecological parameters.
  • Export options: we optimised the query results export as well as the TVT export. You can now choose if missing values should be exported as "empty cells" or as "0 values".
  • Taxa Validation Tool (TVT): Upload of your own taxalists now also works with xlsx-files.
  • Citations: We tried to facilitate the citation. Please be aware of the , icons. All citations are also included in your export. Details on the citation can be found in the section  Terms of use (citation) and in the help under  How to find the correct references and citation.
  • Additionally, we updated the database in the background and optimised quality control features.

Please note: we are currently reviewing the ecological parameters of fishes and working on the classification of Odonata. These data will be available soon.

March 2015: Publication on freshwaterecology.info available

EI publication

21st February 2012: Phytoplankton traits launched online

The following ecological information is now available for phytoplankton: approximate size classes, morpho-functional groups according to Salmaso & Padisak, size class trophic scores and indicator values as well as morpho-functional trophic scores and indicator values. Please see  Experts and  Terms of use (citation) for the contributing experts and correct citation.

Atlas of Central European Trichoptera Larvae

Trichoptera Atlas

The Atlas is a comprehensive update of the successful predecessor "Atlas of Austrian caddisfly larvae". It follows an innovative concept by supplementing the proven dichotomous key with a completely new synoptic key. The synoptic design arranges similar species within one page, thereby supporting identification by the simultaneous use of several morphological details.

The geographical framework has been greatly expanded by including all caddis thus far (2011) described in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Due to the rich structure of the Central European species inventory and the text layout in both German and English this Atlas will be useful also far beyond the immediate geographical target area defined above.

Introductory chapters comprise information on life cycles, larval morphology, case construction, collecting and preservation. Additional sections deal with biology, ecology, habitats and an extensive index including flight periods and head capsule widths of last instar larvae. A bibliography, new tables on geographical distribution based on ecoregions, saprobic indices, functional feeding types and zonal distribution patterns earmark the new Atlas as an important reference work.

The book can be ordered for 128 Euro at  Erik Mauch Verlag.

7th November 2011: Version 5.0 launched online

Version 5.0 of freshwaterecology.info now offers the following new/additional features:

  • Additionally to fish, macro-invertebrates and diatoms, this version also offers ecological information on macrophytes. Please see  Experts and  Terms of use (citation) for the contributing experts and correct citation.
  • In close cooperation with  www.climate-and-freshwater.info we have now also incorporated species that might be affected by climate change, including, fish, macro-invertebrates and macrophytes. This climate change parameter can be found within the ecological parameter sections.
  • Queried ecological parameters can now be easily exported to csv-format by pressing the "Export"-button at the lower end of each query. This export function also includes the export of all references used. Details can be found in the  How to use the database section.
  • For linking and comparing your own species list with the taxonomic backbone of freshwaterecology.info we established a taxa validation tool ( Taxa Validation Tool (TVT)). It is available for fish, macro-invertebrates, macrophytes and diatoms.
    This tool can also be used to upload a species list, link it with the ecological parameters of interest and download the dataset again. This export function also includes the export of all references used.
    A short description how to use the TVT can be found in the  How to use the database section.

Distribution Atlas of European Trichoptera (DAET)

DAET   BioFresh

The DAET project is organised by  Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber (astrid.schmidt-kloiber@boku.ac.at) and   Peter J. Neu (peter.neu@trichoptera-rp.de). It is partly funded by  BioFresh. Within this project we want to collect as many (adult) Trichoptera distribution data from Europe as possible. We think that in times of increasing importance of biodiversity, we should also point the way regarding caddisflies and raise the public awareness of this important insect group. If we get a good coverage of Trichoptera data in Europe we will aim for an IUCN list of threatened species.

This enormous undertaking very much relies on the help and willingness to contribute of an extensive number of private working caddisfly experts from all over Europe. We therefore invite all persons out there working on Trichoptera to contribute. For more information, please visit the  DAET website.

We are grateful to those who have already submitted their records! THANK YOU!

3rd December 2009: Version 4.0 launched online

The following innovations, improvements and changes were implemented into freshwaterecology.info:

  • The macrophyte section of the website was established containing a complete European taxalist based on the EU funded REBECCA and WISER projects.
     Terms of use (citation)
  • A new phytoplankton section was established containing a complete European taxalist based on the EU funded REBECCA and WISER projects.
     Terms of use (citation)
  • The fish section of the website was amended with a more comprehensive fish taxalist based on the EU funded WISER project.
     Terms of use (citation)
  • The Quick search function is now available for all five organism groups.
     Quick search
  • As a first result of the EU funded WISER project the Taxa Entry Tool (TET) was developed and implemented in the website. The TET serves to create standardised taxalists according to the freshwaterecology.info taxonomy. It is available for fish, macro-invertebrates, macrophytes, diatoms and phytoplankton. A short description how to use the TET can be found in the  How to use the database section.
     Taxa Entry Tool (TET)
     How to use the database/How to use the TET
  • Up to now the compilation of a complete list of references regarding the individual taxonomic groups and individual ecological parameters was somehow complicated and the list had to be generated from the individual query results (using the booklet-icon on the right side of each query result).
    To facilitate this compilation, the reference function of the website was essentially improved by establishing a reference-list-icon that can be found in the headline of each queried ecological parameter. This new option offers the possibility to summarise all references that have to be cited if you use the freshwaterecology.info database and it also shows all references that were used to generate the ecological classifications.
     How to use the database/How to find the correct references and citation
     Terms of use (citation)
  • Regarding the abbreviations used for the ecological classifications on the website: up to now it was only possible to see the detailed information of an abbreviation, if you used the mouse and explored the tooltip. In the current version a complete abbreviation table was added that also offers explanations, where available (this will be extended during the next months). The list can be sorted per organism group, per parameter, alphabetically and it is also possible to filter for all entries.
    In connection with this the coding systems used for the classifications of species within the different ecological parameters are explained and illustrated with examples.
  • A news section was added to the website. Here you will find the latest news about changes and improvements on freshwaterecology.info.

New book series


Data presented on this website are released as the book series "Distribution and Ecological Preferences of European Freshwater Organisms", edited by A. Schmidt-Kloiber & D. Hering, which provides comprehensive information on distribution and ecological preferences of European freshwater organisms.

  • The first Volume on Trichoptera by Graf, W., Murphy, J., Dahl, J., Zamora-Munoz, C., Lopez-Rodriguez, M.J. was released in September 2008.
  • The second Volume on Plecoptera by Graf, W., Lorenz, A.W., Tierno de Figueroa, J.M., Lücke, S., Lopez-Rodriguez, M.J. & Davies, C. was released in February 2009.
  • The third Volume on Ephemeroptera by Buffagni, A., Cazzola, M., López-Rodríguez, M.J., Alba-Tercedor, J. & Armanini, D.G. was just published.

Order your personal copy via Pensoft Publishers Logo Pensoft
 Trichoptera,  Plecoptera,  Ephemeroptera.