Limnological research station at lake Gossenkölle

Lake Gossenkölle is an alpine lake at an elevation of 2,416 m a.s.l. with a surface area of 1.6 ha. The lake is situated at Kühtai saddle in the Stubai alps.

The research station was erected in 1975 and refurbished in 1994. It is equipped with electricity and running water, a laboratory and accommodation for up to 6 persons. There is a weather station with online data transfer on the roof of the research station and a measuring buoy in the lake recording temperature, ph, O2 and conductivity when the lake surface is ice-free. Additionally, a boat and diving equipment for 2 persons are available for researchers.

Recent research at lake Gossenkölle is about aquatic organisms like bacteria, flagellates and copepods. There are also projects on atmospheric deposit and its impact on water chemistry, as well as on viruses in the lake. In winter, snow algae are studied on snow surfaces on and around the lake.

Additional to these research projects, an elaborate monitoring program is conducted at lake Gossenkölle. It is an LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) site of the LTSER platform Tyrolean Alps and LTER Austria and a site of GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network). The research station is also used for educational purposes for school kids as well as for undergraduates.


Recent projects

  • LTER Monitoringprogramm (Long Term Ecological Research, Plattform Tyrolean Alps)
  • GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, seit 2015)

Recent publications

  • BELLAS C. M. & SOMMARUGA R. (2021): Polinton-like viruses are abundant in aquatic ecosystems. Microbiome 9, No. 13,
  • FERNANDEZ P., VAN DROOGE B. L., ARELLANO L. & GRIMALT J. O. (2021): Atmospheric deposition of semivolatile organic pollutants in European high mountains: Sources, settling and chemical degradation. Science of The Total Environment, Volume 784, 147099, ISSN 0048-9697,
  • KOPEJTA K., ZENG Y., KAFTAN D., SELYANIN V., GARDIAN Z., TOMASCH J., SOMMARUGA R. & KOBLÍZEK M. (2021): Characterization of the Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacterium Sphingomonas sp. AAP5. Microorganisms 9: 768,
  • AGUILAR P. & SOMMARUGA R. (2020): The balance between deterministic and stochastic processes in structuring lake bacterioplankton community over time. Molecular Ecology 29:16, 3117 - 3130,
  • ELSER J.J., WU C.X., GONZALEZ A.L., SHAIN D.H., SMITH H.J., SOMMARUGA R., WILLIAMSON C.E., BRAHNEY J., HOTALING S., VANDERWALL J., YU J.L., AIZEN V., AIZEN E., BATTIN T.J., CAMASSA R., FENG X., JIANG H.C., LU L.X., QU J.J., REN Z., WEN J., WEN L.J., WOODS H.A., XIONG X., XU J., YU G.L., HARPER J.T. & SAROS J.E. (2020): Key rules of life and the fading cryosphere: impacts in alpine lakes and streams. Global Change Biology 26:12, 6644–6656, http:​/​/​/10.1111​/gcb.15362 
  • HARTMANN A., GLASER K., HOLZINGER A., GANZERA M. & KARSTEN U. (2020): Klebsormidin A and B, two new UV-sunscreen compounds in green microalgal Interfilum and Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) from terrestrial habitats. Front. Microbiol., 11(499),
  • KOPEJTKA K., TOMASCH J., ZENG Y., SELYANIN V., DACHEV M., PIWOSZ K., TICHÝ M., BÍNA D., GARDIAN Z., BUNK B., BRINKMANN H., GEFFERS R., SOMMARUGA R. & KOBLIZEK M. (2020): Simultaneous presence of bacteriochlorophyll and xanthorhodopsin genes in a freshwater bacterium. mSystems 5/6, No. e01044-20, DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.01044-20
  • WERNER N., ORFANOUDAKI M., HARTMANN A., GANZERA M. & SOMMARUGA R. (2020): Low temporal dynamics of mycosporine‐like amino acids in benthic cyanobacteria from an alpine lake. Freshwater Biology 6:1, 169–176,
  • BELLAS, C.M. and SOMMARUGA, R. (2019): Polinton-like viruses and virophages are widespread in aquatic ecosystems, bioRxiv 2019.12.13.875310
  • MOSER, K.A., BARON, J. S., BRAHNEY, J., OLESKY, I., SAROS, J.E., HUNDEY, E.J., SADRO, S.A., KOPÁČEK, J., SOMMARUGA, R., KAINZ, M.J., STRECKER, A.L., CHANDRA, S., WALTERS, D.M., PRESTON, D.L., MICHULETTI, N., LEPORI, F., SPAULDING, S.A., CHRISTIANSON, K., MELACK, J.M., and SMOL, J.P. (2019): Mountain Lakes: Eyes on Global Environmental Change. Global and Planetary Change 178: 77-95
  • REMIAS D., PROCHÁZKOVÁ L., HOLZINGER A. & NEDBALOVÁ L. (2019): Ecology, cytology and phylogeny of the snow alga Scotiella cryophila K-1 (Chlamydomonadales, Chlorophyta) from the Austrian Alps. Phycologia 57,
  • TARTAROTTI, B., SOMMARUGA, R., SAUL, N. (2019): Contrasting diurnal patterns in antioxidant capacities, but not in expression of stress protein genes among copepod populations from clear versus glacially fed alpine and subalpine lakes, Journal of Plankton Research, Volume 41, Issue 6, November 2019, Pages 897–908.
  • WAIBEL, A., PETER, H. & SOMMARUGA, R. (2019): Importance of mixotrophic flagellates during the ice-free season in lakes located along an elevational gradient. Aquat Sci 81: 45
  • ZUPO, V., GRABER, G., KAMEL, S., PLICHTA, V., GRANITZER, S., GUNDACKER, C., WITTMANN, K.J. (2019): Mercury accumulation in freshwater and marine fish from the wild and from aquaculture ponds. Environmental Pollution 255: 112975

For more publications please click here.

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