Daily recreational uses of rivers and lakes have a an enormous meaning in our society.

The AQUATAG project therefore aims to quantify the uses, effects and preferences of the users from different user groups for the first-time in a harmonized way and to derive new management approaches based on this. To make this possible, it is necessary to fusion different innovative research approaches and data sources on various spatial and temporal scales.


Schafft et al. (2021): Ecological impacts of water-based recreational activities on freshwater ecosystems: a global meta-analysis. The Royal Society. Collection.

Malwina Schafft, Bejamin Wegner, Nora Meyer, Christian Wolter and Robert Arlinghaus Abstract Human presence at water bodies can have a range of ecological impacts, creating trade-offs between recreation as an ecosystem service and conservation. Conservation policies could be improved by relying on robust knowledge about the relative ecological impacts of water-based recreation. We present the …

About Aquatag

The AQUATAG project aims to address the following questions:

Which recreational activities are carried out on which water bodies and when?

What role do water quality, infrastructure, distance to conurbations and visitor density, but also ecological quality and biodiversity play in the choice of the water body, the timing and perceived quality of recreational activities?

What pressures on water ecosystems result from recreational uses?

How do these behave in relation to other pressures (stressors) and do they have measurable effects on the ecological status?

In what way do users adapt their recreational activities to an unfulfilled recreational quality?

How can demands on recreational quality and water protection be harmonized by adapted management systems?

These questions are reflected in the project structure through work packages (WP) 1 to 6 as shown in the figure. Depending on the WP, the work is carried out throughout Germany and in the model regions, whereby all participants are in close interdisciplinary exchange to harmonize the contents (TeamThe research on the social (red) - ecological (green) system and its spatial-temporal characteristics (grey) are framed (blue) by the joint development of management recommendations and the involvement of the Practical partners.



Space-time usage patterns


Multiple Stressors


Preferences and benefits


Ecological effects



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