After a three-year pause caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the earthquake that struck Zagreb, the 4th Symposium on Freshwater Biology with international participation was held in Zagreb on April 21, 2023. The Symposium was organized by the Croatian association of freshwater ecologists (CAFE) with co-organizers Department of Biology of the Faculty of Science and the Department of Physics from the same Faculty of the University of Zagreb, which provided the lecture halls in the Physics building at Bijenička cesta 32. The main reason for that is that the building of the Department of Biology is under reconstruction until further time due to earthquake impacts.
The Symposium had a goal to gather participants, which share a passion for research of freshwater ecosystems and all activities connected to that interesting and inexhaustible part of our planet`s ecosystems. Plenary presentations were held by colleagues: Assistant Professor Maja Zagmajster (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Patrick Leitner, Ph.D. (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) and Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG), Vienna, Austria). Presentations highlighted the biodiversity of underground and sedimentation processes of fine sediment in fluvial freshwater systems. Through zoological and botanical themes, hydromorphology, the impact of climate change, intermittent streams, and periphyton the presenters elaborated on the results of their research and monitoring connected through short-term or long-term projects, which cognitions contribute to a better understanding of ecological processes and interactions in freshwater ecosystems.
Plitvice Lakes National Park as one of the most interesting freshwater ecosystems in Croatia and with a long history of research activity, was also significantly present at this Symposium, confirming in these recent times the fact that this area is still an inexhaustible research source for many scientists. Plitvice Lakes National Park additionally sponsored the holding of the Symposium. Through the presentations held by young scientists, we witnessed how they are making their way through science, and we do hope that fieldwork at Plitvice Lakes National Park among other locations in Croatia, will be a nice memory and an important step in their scientific activity.
The employees of the Park`s Nature Conservation Service gave their contribution to the 4th Symposium on Freshwater Biology with presentations under the titles: Life cycle of Drusus croaticus Marinković-Gospodnetić, 1971 (Insecta: Trichopter) by the authors Žalac S., Brozinčević A. and Kučinić M., and Differences in vertical distribution of physico-chemical parameters in deep and shallow lakes – A case study from Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia by the author Vurnek M.