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Freshwater biodiversity

The JRC provides scientific support to the implementation of European policies that aim to ensure the protection, conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems.

The JRC provides scientific support for healthy ecosystems through ecological assessment, assessment of pressures (e.g. invasive alien species), modelling expertise and studies addressing biodiversity loss.

Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded and threatened ecosystems at global level. Given the likelihood that demand for available water resources in Europe and worldwide will increase in the future, freshwater biodiversity and related ecosystem services need to be protected, pressures mitigated and degraded ecosystems restored. A big legislative effort is being made at European level to address biodiversity conservation policies and management of river basins and riverine habitats for their sustainable use.

The JRC aims to provide the scientific basis for this integration of policies, with a focus on assessing and mapping the status of ecosystem services, and developing modelling approaches to evaluate water ecosystem dynamics and simulate future scenarios on their evolving vulnerability.

JRC activities include ecological assessment of Europe's aquatic ecosystems, the cumulative impact of invasive alien species research and development of ecosystem modelling and scenario analyses, and studies on how ecosystems and biodiversity adapt to drivers of biodiversity loss.

More information

CCM – Catchment Characterisation and Modelling

EASIN – European Alien Species Information Network

WISER - Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery

Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity

To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios:

Father with small children working outdoors in garden, sustainable lifestyle concept.

Zero pollution for planetary health - Integrated responses.